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Vermont Governor Extends Coronavirus State Of Emergency

Vermont Statehouse-Coronavirus

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has extended his State of Emergency mandating state residents stay home and non-essential businesses remain closed through mid-May.
Governor Scott’s statewide State Of Emergency was scheduled to expire April 15th.  All of the directives related to the measure, including his Stay Home order, the closure of bars and restaurants, and limiting the size of gatherings have been extended through May 15th.   “I know how disappointing this is to many as some were hoping we could magically flip a switch and go back to normal. And there's no one who wishes that could be more the case than me.  But unfortunately while it appears we're leveling off, which is good news, we don't have enough evidence at this point in time to show that the virus won't spike. And I don't want to give false hope or unrealistic expectations. What we're doing is really making a difference. Vermonters are literally saving hundreds of lives by staying home and it's important we don't let up just yet.”

The Republican says his extended order also provides additional guidance and clarifications for some agencies and businesses.  “One in particular will allow lodging operators to accept reservations after June 15, which was an issue for them that we rectified. And working with the House and Senate Transportation committees I’ve also directed the DMV to extend vehicle inspections due in April by 60 days. Many have called with concerns about their inspections running out while they're trying to stay in. This order also asks ACCD (Agency of Commerce and Community Development) to make some other sector-specific clarifications.”

Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak is responsible for modeling and tracking the course of COVID-19 across the state.  He says the trends are positive because people have been complying with stay home and social distancing orders.  “Although we are anticipating a milder experience in April, our current forecasts still indicate that more than 1000 to 5000 Vermonters will be diagnosed with COVID-19 by the end of May with hundreds requiring hospital care. Accordingly it's still safe to assume that the worst is still ahead of us. The governor's action was absolutely necessary. Although it's difficult our continued sacrifice will most certainly reduce pain and suffering and save lives.”

During his Friday update, Burlington Mayor Democrat Miro Weinberger said he fully supports the governor’s move and said he would follow suit with any city-wide orders that have been issued.   “The levels of infection are still concerningly high. There's still enough new infections every day that we are weeks away from being able to say it's time to come out of this. If we were to come out of this now my sense is you would immediately see a new spike. Now the governor has made this decision I think it really puts a focus on what I was talking about Monday night at the State of the City.  We need to use this time to our advantage. We need to use this time well and get ready for when the stay home order is lifted.”

All Vermont schools will remain closed for in-person teaching through the end of the school year.


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