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Vermont Officials Plan For Further Business Openings If Data Remains Positive

Vermont Governor Phil Scott  (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Vermont Governor Phil Scott (file photo)

Vermont Governor Phil Scott held a regular COVID-19 briefing Wednesday morning.  He teased potential new openings of the state’s business sectors as his administration continues tracking data to determine when it’s appropriate to resume certain activities.
Republican Governor Phil Scott began his regular briefing by reiterating that while the state appears to be moving in the right direction he is taking action only when the data indicates it is safe to do so. He noted surrounding states far outpace the number of new COVID-19 cases.  “New cases in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and Quebec can have an effect on us here in Vermont. I have asked my team to think about what we need to see in these other states to tell us when it would be smart and safe to open Vermont, to welcome back our out of state travelers. Because I know how incredibly important it is to our tourism and hospitality sectors and to protect the jobs they provide.”  

Before State Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine reviewed Vermont’s current COVID-19 numbers he also cautioned residents to be careful as the heat increases.  “It is hot out there. We Vermonters know how to handle cold weather pretty well.  In the last number of years we’ve had to increasingly learn how to deal with hot temperatures as well. So anybody’s who’s outside, and especially if you’re working or exerting outside, definitely start slowly, drink more fluids than usual, drink before you’re thirsty, take extra breaks in the shade, find a cool place indoors and worry about the most vulnerable. Check in on them. If you need to stop by their home remember to keep your distance and wear a facial covering.”   

While he didn’t cite the source Levine took issue with a report he said indicated the state is experiencing trouble as it reopens.  “The report saying that things are not going well in the reopening of Vermont ah it’s anything but the case.  We clearly have not seen an uptick in any data that would get us concerned.”

Scott says he is hopeful that he can soon announce further business sector openings and easing of pandemic restrictions.  “As we watch the data we’ve also planned our next steps forward. We’re hoping to give a timeframe for our next phase of close contact activities like cleaning services and indoor fitness on Friday.  It still appears we’ll be able to announce increased gatherings from 10 to 25 by the end of the week. We’re also finalizing guidance for overnight camps.  Looking ahead a little further if we continue to see good results I expect we could be able to resume indoor dining in the not too distant future.”

Candidates who want to appear on a major party’s primary ballot in August must file with the Secretary of State’s office by 5 p.m. Thursday.  Governor Scott was asked if he is running for reelection.  "That’ll be more ah, more ah, vivid on tomorrow. I’ll come out with a statement then. I have until 5 o’clock tomorrow but I have arrived at the decision. But I’ll make that known tomorrow.”
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development issues a newsletter every other day updating reopening announcements.

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