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 10.5.21.

Governor Scott and his administration officials urged all Vermonters who are eligible to receive a Covid vaccine booster shot. Secretary Smith said that the guidelines are being interpreted broadly, so if you are 18 and older and received your second Pfizer shot more than six months ago, you are eligible to receive the booster. The FDA will be reviewing approval requests for the J&J and Moderna boosters October 13 and 14. The FDA is likely to approve EUA for the Pfizer vaccine in children aged 5-11 within a week of the October 26 review date.


  • Governor Phil Scott:
    • National Covid rates declining.
    • Dr. Levine on vacation.
    • Prepping for vaccine approval for 5-11 year olds.
    • Get booster as soon as you can. If you work in a high-risk setting (interpreted broadly) – you are eligible.
    • Anticipating booster approval for J&J and Moderna in the coming weeks.
    • Marks passing of Sydney Walton – WWII Veteran.
  • Commissioner Mike Pieciak:
    • Starting to see improvement in country and in region.
    • Maine has seen cases jump past week. NH high too.
    • Vermont – 7-day average down 15%. New hospitalizations dropping. Cases still elevated in the NEK. 163 cases in LTC facilities. Need more data to project trend. 88.3% vaccination rate.
  • Secretary Dan French:
    • Test to Stay Program – Rapid antigen test allows unvaccinated close contacts to attend school.
    • In School PCR Response Testing – Testing symptomatic students and staff – take-home kits.
    • Surveillance Testing Program – Urges schools and students to sign up.
    • 651 cases since the start of school – 107 in past 7 days. 51% of schools have not had a case at all.
    • School nurses will now have access to student vax records. Testing program will have awhile to ramp up – staffing needed. (Have funding available from Feds). Non-medical staff can help with testing. Schools with vax rates greater than 80% don’t need to contact trace.
  • Secretary Mike Smith:
    • Boosters – 9,000 people have gotten boosters. Like to see more people to take advantage of booster program.
    • Oct 13 and 14 – FDA will consider boosters for J&J and Moderna.
    • Oct 26 – will review EUA for Pfizer vaccine for 5-11. Decision likely made within a week.
    • Working to be able to serve those showing up at ERs with substance use issues elsewhere to help with capacity issues.
  • Questions:
    • CDC and state tracking boosters. Definition of fully vaccinated will not change.
    • Looking for any opportunities for help with testing for schools – don’t know if using Guard is possible – but suggestion to use Reserve Corps is a good one.
    • Will take a few weeks to roll out testing programs statewide. A lot of logistical issues to solve.
    • Smith – Hoping for better response for booster. If you’re 18 years old and up and are six months out from second Pfizer shot – get the booster.
    • Kelso – Not hearing concern from epidemiologists about winter months and moving indoors.
    • Scott – Don’t think it’s necessary (for legislature to act on Covid) if they want to impose a mask mandate, gathering restrictions… cancel Christmas. I have the toolbox and the key to addressing the issue. So if we thought it was necessary at this time, we’d open the state of emergency toolbox… don’t think it’d be helpful for the legislature to act, because I already have the tools.
    • Scott – 36 states allowed to come to US, but frustrated that Canada border is not yet open.
    • Scott – States that still have mask mandates have worse measures – increased mitigation measures not needed here.
    • Mike Donoghue asks Mike Pieciak about EB-5 lawsuit – Pieciak says that he was an advocate for the release of documents – shows they were investigating, reported to FBI.
    • Kelso – Data shows that immunity is stronger and lasts longer than natural immunity from Covid infection.
    • Move athletic oversight from VPA to state? (in response to incident at Winooski soccer game). French said he’s not sure if there would be more oversight with state. But good conversation to have as a state.
    • State actively looking at take-home PCR testing in areas that are further from testing programs.