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 8.17.21.
There were no major announcements at today’s press conference, but Commissioner Pieciak did report that the rising Covid case rates nationally and in Vermont are beginning to slow down. Governor Scott said that he will be issuing no additional guidance, and due to our high vaccination rates, does not anticipate re-instating any business restrictions this fall.
Dr. Levine detailed the CDC’s recommendation that immunocompromised people get a third vaccine dose to ensure sufficient immune response, and said that Vermont walk-in and pop-up clinics will begin administering third doses to eligible Vermonters at the end of the week. Those wishing to get a third shot will be required to self-attest that they are in a listed immunocompromised group. The general adult population will likely be able to received third doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine within a few months.
- Governor Scott:
- Cases have ticked up – but we’re not Florida, Louisiana, or other states with lower vaccination rates and higher vaccination rates.
- VT hit 85% vaccination rate over the weekend.
- Lowest hospitalization rate in the country. Vaccines are preventing cases.
- Since January only 2% of those who contracted Covid were fully vaccinated (since January).
- We can and should be thinking differently about the virus.
- Will be no new guidance.
- Encouraging those who are unvaccinated to wear masks indoors in public settings.
- Commissioner Pieciak:
- Nationally cases are on the rise – but only 19% increase (vs. 38% increase last week). Reaching Delta peak.
- Similar trends in the Northeast and Vermont.
- 630 breakthrough cases in Vermont.
- Secretary Mike Smith:
- (Lists walk-in clinics)
- Booster shots – CDC recommends for those with moderate or highly immunocompromised. Pop-up sites will be able to offer booster shots by end of the week (will have to self-attest that you are eligible). Only for those who have received Moderna or Pfizer.
- 61 cases on Monday.
- Commissioner Levine:
- Delta variant has completely changed the game. Original coronavirus – each infected person could be expected to spread it to 2, sometimes 3, others. Delta variant–infected person could be expected to spread to 5 people.
- Wearing a mask even if you’re completely vaccinated is reasonable.
- New vaccine guidance – not meant to be a booster – allows people in immunocompromised group to mount a sufficient immuno-response against the virus. Treatment for certain cancers, organ transplant, stem cell transplant, people born with immunodeficient state, active treatment with steroids, active HIV/AIDS. Consult health care provider if you’re unsure if you qualify. Not recommended you take an additional dose if you are not in this group (including “high risk” groups). But planning is underway for boosters in the next few months or entire adult population.
- N.H. Gov. Sununu saying that spike in November/December as bad as anything we’ve already seen. Levine – expect it to be worse if vaccine rate isn’t sufficient.
- Have increased contract tracing workforce.
- Much higher rate for Vermonters who are non-white/non-hispanic have much higher rates of covid? Levine – Generational issues. Careers often have more exposure. Have narrowed vaccination rate gap.
- On Afghanistan – Scott – has different opinion on how to end war, but agree with the concept to end it. Should have stayed longer to get people out. It’s horrific what we’re seeing. Have reached out to State Department to say that we’re ready, willing, and able to receive and help refugees from war-torn countries. Military families – your sacrifice has not been in vain.
- Secretary French – Won’t see hybrid learning like last year under state of emergency. Can still be used on smaller level – case by case.
- Do you expect more business restrictions in the fall? Scott – Not in place where we will need that – we have a layer of protection in place due to vaccination rate. Don’t anticipate business restrictions.
- Scott – concerned about inflation and supply chain for projects – but hopeful that infrastructure money can be spent over 5-10 years.
- Have heard nothing back from White House about Canadian border.
- Guy Page asks about ivermectin treatment – Levine – not a panacea for this pandemic.
- Zero children hospitalized in Vermont with covid.