News summary: Vermont Department of Health reports 33 new cases of COVID-19
Vermont reporters are providing a roundup of top coronavirus takeaway news and more for Monday, May 10.
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The latest data on coronaviruses:
1. Vermont Department of Health Reports 33 New Cases of COVID-19
Vermont saw 33 new COVID-19 infections reported statewide on Monday.
Hospitalizations linked to the virus have dropped to 11, with two people in intensive care.
More than 67% of Vermonters have now received a dose of a vaccine. In total, 48% are fully vaccinated.
The youngest age group – those between 16 and 29 – continues to have the lowest vaccination rate in the state, at less than 40%.
– Matthew Smith
Those working in Vermont are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine
Anyone who works in Vermont – even if they live out of state – is now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Vermont.
The new eligibility is an extension of the previous eligibility that allowed out-of-state students and part-time Vermonters to get vaccinated.
Newly eligible can register on the state’s website and schedule an appointment, or attend a walk-in vaccination clinic.
– Brittany Patterson
Vermont Colleges Announce Immunization Tips for Students and Staff
Some colleges and universities in Vermont are publishing COVID-19 vaccination advice for workers and students in the fall.
Seven days reports that Champlain College announced last week that it will require all students to be fully immunized by the start of the next fall term, as soon as federal regulators approve vaccines for general use. They are currently only licensed for emergency use.
St. Michael’s College in Colchester will also require students to be vaccinated.
Norwich University of Northfield has said it expects all students, staff and faculty at the private military academy to be vaccinated by August 1.
Middlebury College and the University of Vermont have yet to announce vaccine requirements in the fall.
– Matthew Smith
The state will work with employers to set up vaccination clinics on construction sites
The state of Vermont is working with employers to set up COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Governor Phil Scott says his administration works with several companies in the state.
âWe have already started working with companies that have a number of employees, as well as with certain restaurants, etc.,â Scott said. “What if we can put them together and, like you said, get them while they’re there.”
Scott declined to name the companies the administration worked with since the clinics had not been finalized.
– Liam Elder-Connors
2. Governor Scott says he would be comfortable if the Canadian border reopened, with COVID-19 restrictions
Governor Phil Scott says he would be comfortable if the Canadian border reopened, as long as COVID-19 restrictions were in place for those traveling.
The Canada-U.S. Border has been closed for over a year due to the pandemic.
Scott says he believes border travel is possible as long as Vermont travel advice is followed.
“Pass those who are vaccinated without any other restrictions, but if they are not vaccinated they should adhere to the guidelines we have in place,” Scott said, “which means they should get tested. within three days of arrival. “
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday called on the Biden administration to make concrete plans to reopen the border, according to North Country Public Radio.
But reopening the border could still be a way out. Vaccine deployment has also been slower in Canada, and COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Quebec.
– Liam Elder-Connors
Quebec continues to experience high number of cases, but transmission is declining
The transmission of COVID-19 in Quebec is on the decline, but the province still registers between 800 and 900 new cases every day.
The Montreal Gazette reports in the past 24 hours, Quebec has seen 960 new cases of COVID-19 and six new deaths.
The province has seen nearly 11,000 deaths from the virus since the start of the pandemic, by far most of all provinces.
Just over 36% of the population of Quebec has received at least one dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus. At the end of the week, all adults 18 and over will be able to book appointments.
Nationally, about a third of Canadians have received a dose of the vaccine, but less than 3% of the country is fully vaccinated.
– The Associated Press
3. New York-based solar developer files legal action for approval of Bennington projects
A New York-based solar developer built up a long history of litigation in Vermont as he tried to get two large-scale projects approved at Bennington.
Developer Thomas Melone is a lawyer representing his own businesses. He sued members of the State Utilities Commission and Governor Phil Scott, alleging that politicians and regulators conspired with local opponents to reject the project.
Former PUC chairman Jim Volz said there was no conspiracy.
âHe was trying to make the most of our generous standard bid rates by essentially taking a large project and chopping it into a few chunks so that it qualifies under the megawatt limit. And we turned it down on that basis and he got frustrated with it, âVolz said.
A federal court recently dismissed the lawsuit.
Read or listen to the full story.
– John Dillon
4. Governor calls on lawmakers to pass a bill exempting companies from paying taxes on their PPP loans
Gov. Phil Scott says he wants lawmakers to pass a bill that exempts companies that have received federal payroll protection loans from paying taxes on those funds.
When the House considered a miscellaneous tax bill earlier in this session, it included a provision that imposed state income tax on that money.
Scott is asking the Senate in the coming weeks to reverse the actions taken by the House.
“I don’t want to miss this and I hope they can easily do it in one of the bills or the budget bill and I will bring it back to the table if they don’t consider it on their own,” Scott said.
Scott says it is critical that lawmakers address this issue before adjourning later this month.
– Bob Kinzel
5. South Burlington Resident Raises Thousands of Dollars in COVID-19 Aid for Community in India
A man in South Burlington has helped raise thousands of dollars to send medical supplies to India as the country continues to suffer from high rates of infection and death from COVID-19.
Last week, Vijay Desai got a call from a high school friend who is now a doctor in their hometown of Vadodara.
âHe didn’t look happy due to the lack of equipment and resourcesâ¦ He was literally asking for help,â Desai said.
Desai, who has lost three close relatives to the recent COVID-19 wave in India, said he understands the urgency and pain of the situation.
He helped coordinate an effort that on Monday afternoon raised nearly $ 20,000 and sent 15 oxygen concentrators to a hospital in Vadodara.
“Now is not the time to see [a] distance, do nothing … This is not India’s problem. This is the problem of global health. And we absolutely have to help each other, âDesai said.
Desai continues to collect donations through GoFundMe.
– Elodie Reed
More from RVP: ‘Very Anxious’: Vermonters with family in India watch this country’s COVID wave
6. Newport State Prison is back on lockdown due to COVID-19
Newport State Prison is fully closed after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
The reimposed restrictions come just weeks after a major outbreak ended.
The northern state correctional facility was locked for about five weeks earlier this year. An inmate at the facility told VPR in a recent email that “his stress level has become very high” due to the reimposed restrictions.
Al Cormier, facility manager for the Ministry of Corrections, says mental health services are available.
âThey meet the populationâ¦ offering techniques to help people deal with this stress and deal with it. But it’s certainly not an easy task, âsaid Cormier.
Cormier says no incarcerated person has tested positive, but three are in quarantine after being identified as close contacts of the infected staff member. Everyone at the Newport facility will be tested on Thursday.
DOC says just over 60% of the prison population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
– Liam Elder-Connors
7. The Scott administration will ask government employees about their preference for working from home or the office
The Scott administration is conducting an extensive survey of state employees to determine how many workers will return to their offices when the threat of the pandemic has passed.
At the height of the pandemic, a majority of state employees were working remotely.
Gov. Phil Scott says the state wants to study how this experiment went and if any changes are needed.
“We try to be as flexible as possible, trying to get people used to this new transition [of] get back to normal, âScott said. âWe are working on all of these scenarios and stay tuned because we are not forcing anyone to come back, but there will be opportunities for them to come back in the months to come.
Scott says it’s also possible that some employees would prefer to have a hybrid model of working from home several days a week.
– Bob Kinzel
8. Former Governor Madeleine Kunin has a new collection of poetry
Former governor Madeleine Kunin comes out with a new collection of poetry. Kunin has written four books, but this is the first time she has published poems.
She says poetry has become more important to her with age.
âI have always loved poetry. And I wrote from time to time, like for someone’s birthday, or for a special event. But as I got older, poetry resonated with me and I started talking about my inner life and my privacy through poems, âKunin said.
Kunin’s poems include reflections on quiet moments in everyday life, but also themes of aging, care, grief and death, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read or listen to the entire conversation.
– Henry Epp
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