Vermont reporters supply a roundup of leading news takeaways about the coronavirus and far more for Friday, Feb. 19.
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The newest coronavirus information:
1. Vermont stories 97 new COVID-19 conditions
The Vermont Health Office documented 97 new conditions of COVID-19 Friday – but no new deaths.
In Vermont, 193 persons have died from the coronavirus since the pandemic started final 12 months.
There are currently 38 individuals hospitalized with the virus and 13 of those people individuals are in the ICU.
Just above 83,000 people today in Vermont have received at minimum one particular dose of the vaccine.
– Liam Elder-Connors
Totally vaccinated tourists will not need to have to quarantine starting up Feb. 23
The state is lifting some of its COVID-19 vacation restrictions.
Commencing following Tuesday, if travelers have been fully vaccinated towards the coronavirus – indicating they have had equally photographs and waited an additional two months – they do not have to quarantine following their arrival in Vermont.
Gov. Phil Scott claimed additional variations will be introduced future 7 days.
“This alter is incredibly narrow, focusing on vacation. And I know there will be a ton of concerns and some head scratching about why this is authorized, though other things are not,” Scott explained. “But the fact is, just about every step we make arrives with questions, and we’re taking it just one stage at a time to lessen the confusion.”
Scott reported irrespective of the relaxation on the vacation policy, the ban on multi-loved ones residence gatherings still applies. He claimed the state is taking a near seem at that plan now, as more of the inhabitants gets vaccinated.
– John Dillon
Wellbeing Commissioner states Vermont is looking at a gradual decline in new COVID-19 conditions
Health Commissioner Mark Levine stated Friday the condition is observing a gradual decrease in COVID-19 cases, as the quantity of Vermonters who are vaccinated steadily improves.
Levine outlined the current virus traits at Friday’s COVID briefing. He reported the seven-day average of new situations is declining. And he reported the decrease is even more pronounced in the 75-and-more mature age group.
But Levine warned in opposition to complacency in the face of a pandemic that has lasted almost a yr.
“So even however we are sick of this pandemic, and even although numerous of us anxiously await a possibility to get the vaccine, the virus is continue to a threat, and we need to have to remain targeted on retaining it from spreading,” Levine claimed. “Avoid gatherings and crowds, have on your mask, and if you have any purpose to get a examination, you should do it. It’s simple and it is totally free.”
Levine mentioned the condition not too long ago aided set up testing facilities at two southern Vermont ski places, and uncovered only 3 beneficial benefits from much more than 200 assessments.
– John Dillon
Exclusive identification cards will be issued to these who total vaccine program
Gov. Phil Scott says Vermonters who have acquired both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be issued specific identification cards verifying that they have been absolutely vaccinated.
At present about 8% of Vermont’s grownup population has acquired both of those doses of the vaccine.
Scott claims the vaccination cards will help condition and federal officers make sure that a human being has been vaccinated in particular when they travel.
“There is a vaccination card. All states need to have this – it really is federally issued, I feel,” Scott reported. “Everyone should have the card with them any time they vacation in or out of the point out and be geared up to show it when questioned.”
Scott states Vermonters who have obtained both of those doses will now be authorized to vacation out-of-state devoid of quarantining when they occur back, commencing two weeks soon after the date of their next dose.
– Bob Kinzel
Point out prepares to let extra social functions, salon appointments at nursing residences following Friday
The condition is relaxing constraints on nursing homes now that an increasing amount of aged Vermonters are having completely vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus.
Human Services Secretary Mike Smith introduced the alterations at Friday’s COVID briefing. He claimed that beginning future Friday, nursing residence inhabitants who have been entirely vaccinated will be equipped to assemble with many others citizens and see visitors.
“This means feeding on alongside one another and collaborating in other team functions inside of pointers,” Smith said. “On a situation by case thought, [we will allow] risk-free physical get in touch with, and with entire vaccination, having website visitors indoors, and participating in non-medical essential services these kinds of as salon appointments.”
Smith mentioned 93% of people in competent nursing facilities and household care residences have received their very first dose of vaccine.
– John Dillon
2. Republican and Progressive Statehouse leaders spotlight policy priorities
Residence minority chief calls for additional COVID relief money for smaller businesses
Residence minority chief Patti McCoy says it can be critical for the state to distribute federal COVID stimulus grants to suitable Vermont companies as shortly as feasible.
Speaking on Vermont Edition Thursday, McCoy said the aim really should be to help as several corporations as attainable stay afloat until eventually the affect of the pandemic has been sharply minimized.
She explained this could get a quantity of months.
“It’s not to say that we can lift up companies for several years to arrive, but to preserve them in enterprise and prop them up a bit for the following 6-to-12 months of enterprise,” McCoy mentioned. “I imagine which is what that money ought to be made use of for.”
McCoy claims she’s also encouraged that yet another main COVID-19 financial stimulus deal could acquire Congressional acceptance sometime future thirty day period.
Vermont is projected to receive over $900 million from that legislation.
Senate Progressive caucus pushes for money tax surcharge on wealthiest Vermonters
The head of Vermont’s Senate Progressive caucus is opposed to growing gambling programs to elevate new income for the state.
Washington County Senator Anthony Pollina told Vermont Version it will make additional sense to impose an income tax surcharge on rich Vermonters, than to legalize sports activities betting or increase the Vermont Lottery.
“Preserve in brain that the wealthiest 5% of Vermonters this 12 months are preserving. They are saving $237 million on the federal money tax,” Pollina explained. “We could question people folks to pay out their reasonable share and we could discover other strategies to raise income for the condition fairly than go towards betting and lottery techniques, which I feel tend to prey upon lower- and moderate- cash flow men and women.”
Legislation authorizing sports activities betting in Vermont is currently being reviewed by the Senate Economic Enhancement committee and seems to have some bipartisan assist.
Progressives in the House also thrust for tax reforms
The head of the House Progressive Caucus, Burlington Rep. Selene Colburn, claims lawmakers need to enact major tax reforms that would place a greater load on wealthier Vermonters.
Colburn explained to Vermont Edition the income is needed to fund important condition courses.
She said reforms would commence to deal with growing financial inequality in the point out.
“So we have found, you know, the best a single p.c, the best two per cent, accomplishing improved for the duration of the pandemic,” Colburn claimed. “And we know that people in the base 60% of earners are finding less and even more guiding than they were just before.”
Colburn is backing an earnings tax surcharge on the rich. She also needs to improve the state’s education finance process so that all property owners pay out their university tax stress centered on their earnings and not the benefit of their residence.
Hear to the entire dialogue.
– Bob Kinzel
3. Education officials throughout Vermont report truancy is on the rise
Schooling officers throughout Vermont are reporting an increase in truancy through the coronavirus pandemic.
Jay Nichols, with the Vermont Principals’ Affiliation, suggests continual absenteeism has constantly been a difficulty for faculty districts.
“I think with the pandemic, though, we have witnessed that maximize. And every university is speaking about how they have a handful of young ones that they just simply cannot get in the setting up,” Nicholds said.
Nichols say university administrators are devising programs to reconnect with disengaged learners.
But he stated districts will have to have economic and logistical aid from the point out in get to productively reengage shed students.
Browse or listen to the comprehensive tale.
– Peter Hirschfeld
4. 2018 ban on substantial potential magazines stands up in Vt. Supreme Court docket
A 2018 regulation that banned the possession of high-capacity journals in Vermont has withstood a constitutional obstacle.
In a 4- final decision announced on Friday afternoon, the Vermont Supreme Court docket mentioned the restriction on journals could reduce the lethality of mass shootings.
And the justices claimed the prohibition on magazines that carry far more than 10 rounds of ammunition does not unduly infringe on Vermonters’ suitable to bear arms.
The court docket turned down plaintiffs’ claims that the ban could compromise Vermonters’ potential to defend on their own.
Gov. Phil Scott signed the magazine ban into legislation just after an averted mass capturing in Good Haven in February of 2018.
– Peter Hirschfeld
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