Innkeepers are a busy bunch. To save you time, VLA attends Governor Scott’s Covid-19 Press Conferences and takes notes for you. Below is the summary from 2.12.21
Governor Scott announced today that the next age band, 70 and older, will be able to register for a COVID vaccine on Tuesday, February 16th. The state is also announcing new rules that will let schools hold music practices.
Governor Phil Scott:
- Tuesday, February 16th, we’re opening up registration for the vaccine to the next age band: 70 and older.
- To date, over 85% of Vermont’s 75 and older population have scheduled or already received their vaccinations, which is faster than many other states.
- And after we begin to move through this next age band, we’ll open to 65-plus and then those with certain high-risk conditions that lead to worse outcomes from the disease.
- This Monday I’ll sign an extension to the state of emergency for another month. As a reminder, this is simply the tool we need to respond to the pandemic, but I’m hopeful there won’t be too many more of these extensions in the future.
- I was happy to hear Dr. Fauci say yesterday that by April, he believes the general population could begin to have broad access to the vaccines.
- Today, we have more good news – we will be resuming certain music programs, which we know are also essential to the mental health and wellbeing of Vermont’s kids.
Secretary Dan French
- State is announcing new rules to allow for music practices. Rules includes distancing, masks and no audiences.
Secretary Mike Smith
- Vermonters 70+ will be able to register and make appointments for the vaccine beginning at 8:15 am on Tuesday. (You can register at any time, just not make an appointment until you’re eligible)
- Walgreens is joining Kinney in administering vaccine – Walgreens has 20 locations across the state – can register directly with the pharmacies.
- Continuing to grow program to vaccinate homebound Vermonters.
- This is the smallest age group – should be able to get through group rather quickly and begin moving onto phase 4 – 65 and older. Then will move onto phase 5 – those 16-64 who are in high risk groups. In planning for phase 6 – all planning contingent on supply of vaccine from federal government. Have seen consistent supply over the past few weeks.
Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine
- “Testing Exuberant”
- This time of year, we would expect a lot of influenza – quite little of that.
- Outbreaks in Long Term Care Facilities – very few cases.
- ICU and hospitalizations down.
- Active outbreaks not main cause of cases in Bennington, Rutland and Franklin County. Mostly community transmission. Franklin County is still only one actively increasing. Would like to thank Stratton, Manchester… In expanding testing in the area.
- Likely a variant of concern in Vermont – through wastewater testing in Burlington. Likely UK strain – thought to be more transmissible. In 34 other states. Genome sequencing won’t be done for a week.
- Double masking – cloth over surgical – more protection.
- New CDC guidance on people who are vaccinated and exposed to someone who is positive – don’t need to quarantine. Exception for patients in long term care.
- No changes for travel related quarantine for those who have been vaccinated. Will have more info next week.
- Over 90 % of LTC residents have received at least first dose of vaccine.
- School vacation – may not be a vacation for parents… avoid indoor get togethers and sleepovers. But can get outside and enjoy snow.
- Levine – CDC cautious about those who have been vaccinated – guidelines are for those who have been vaccinated within 3 months.
- In several weeks will be announcing another age band that will be opening. Looking at various options for phase 6.
- Scott – In support of sports betting.
- Would you advise the Senate to convict Trump? Scott – We all have responsibility as leaders to lead with integrity – words do matter. Truth matters, Honesty matters. Quite clear that they have to impeach the former president, because if they don’t, they are condoning his behavior and it will happen again in the future. If this is ok to do, I guarantee it will happen again in the future.
- Reaction to request for teachers to be prioritized for vaccine when it becomes available? French – We’ll have to address our strategy as supply increases.
- Singing not included in music practice changes? French – Singing is included it what will be allowed.
- Smith – 75+ age group – right on where we anticipated – high 30k’s (49K in that group). Drivers license not required.
- Scott – Christina Nolan – have a great deal of respect –not biased, does her job well. my hope that she would have been reappointed – looking for same qualities.
- Q – Local inns and wedding venues are concerned that they are going to lose a whole other season – is there a plan coming for guidelines? Kurrle – Our team is working with the industry to help them understand what possibilities are for the summer. Exciting news re: vaccines – rollout faster than expected. A lot of good movement – hope we can figure out more quickly what to expect for the summer. Sensitive for the need to plan. Hopefully in the next couple weeks we can give an update on plan. Know there are events planned as early as May that are hanging in the balance right now.
- Q – Will people who are in a pod together be able to dine together? Kurrle – Hope to have some good news in the coming weeks. Ask restaurant owners to adhere to current guidelines.
- VA hospital in WRJ providing vaccine to those 65 and up? Easy process – what can the state learn from that? Scott – wasn’t aware that it was 65 and over there… Smith – Interesting to me. Didn’t know the age bands. At some point, we want to partner with the VA.
- In Franklin County we’re seeing spikes – but in the next few days 10 teams are traveling to play school sports: Scott – there is some risk. Everyone has to weigh this out on their own.
- Health care workers now testing positive? Levine – Data not clear – usually between first and second dose. If there’s a person who becomes a case because they have received a vaccine – not aware.
- Scott – Resource officers in schools is a local decision.
- French – Looking at school guidance doc and looking at PE class restrictions.
- Smith – Will be rolling out verification process for those with high risk conditions in the next few weeks.