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 3/15/22.

Governor Scott started his press conference congratulating the UVM Men’s Basketball team on winning the conference championship and wishing them luck in the NCAA tournament. (UVM’s first game is Thursday.)

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Reflecting on the last two years of living with COVID, Vermonters stepped up and lead the way with a willingness to do the right thing and that will help us manage this virus going forward. This Saturday, the state will mark the two-year anniversary of the first death from COVID and state building flags will be at half mast honoring those we have lost.


Commissioner Mark Levine:

  • During these last two years we have lived with a variety of hardships; some communities more than others; we cannot forget lessons learned as we moved forward with our recovery as a state
  • Updates to public health guidance summary:
  • If you test positive, need to isolate 5 days; close contact to positive case, no need to quarantine but get tested if not vaccinated or up to date on vaccines; get tested if symptoms develop regardless of vaccine status; know if you are higher risk to help inform decisions about risk; respect decision of those around you and be accepting; don‘t let guard down;
  • Will continue public health monitoring and surveillance in VT; remain aware of national and international developments regarding strains, vaccine guidance, and treatments;
  • Keep masks and test kits around; if situation changes we will change with it
  • Changes around testing starting tomorrow – now begin offering rapid testing by appointment at health department testing sites to take home rapid or lamp test; PCR still offered for those that need it, for ex. letter for travel; children under two
  • Website update tomorrow
  • Updating testing for Vermonters – testing still available to all but with less virus around less testing is needed such as around social gatherings; recommend testing only in specific situations where risk is highest––symptoms; true close contact and not up to date on vaccines


  • On White House call, any discussion on Canadian border and timeline on opening up border? Scott –  no conversation about that subject
  • What should Vermonters expectations be in terms of living with the virus going forward? Scott – shouldn’t be afraid of the virus; we have learned a lot and have a lot of tools; importance of vaccination and booster; expected it will be treated much like the flu in years to come. Levine – there are no certainties; look at science and data and make modest predictions and that shows that right now is the time to make changes we are making; no one can predict next variant; don’t expect new issue with BA2 (spikes) but a long tail
  • How exciting is it for you to meet and greet Crew US-Vermont tomorrow? Scott – that’s our namesake; sense of pride for VT; very much looking forward to it
  • State House considering legislation that will ban discriminatory mascots. Are you in favor? Scott – will have to look at final version
  • Clean heat standard and switching over to fuel credits for market dealers. Is that enough? Scott – Direction is to have PUC make those decisions; I am opposed to have PUC be final decision making; it should come back through the legislative process for final approval; PUC is not an elected body
  • Mask lifting in school: any updates on positives for school kids? Scott – Anecdotally it is well received, a positive for kids and they are getting acclimated to it; I think it is all good
  • Coronavirus relief funds and federal emergency rental assistance funds have to be given back approximately $30 million. Scott – there were very restrictive parameters for use of funds and weren’t able to utilize it as much as we had hoped; could have used it if had more flexibility
  • Lamp test, if someone does one at home, will they need to bring it to somewhere? Levine –take home kit and process the results at home
  • Monitoring of waste water shows significant increase in recent days. Will you continue to monitor and are you alarmed? Scott – absolutely will continue; very effective; can monitor what is happening throughout the state; case numbers are an indicator but the metric we are watching now is hospitalizations particularly those admitted to hospitals due to COVID; ICU numbers coming down significantly across the country; shows severity of variant at this point in time is less significant and that vaccines are having a positive effect on that resulting in less severe conditions. Levine – seven sites in Vermont will be motioning waste water but not all up and running yet (infusion of CDC grant funds will help getting this going); will work with other interested communities when funds available; suspect will arrive at baseline level and watch trends; upticks have not resulted in impact; learning how to use this measure as a state and nation and will keep you apprised
  • Do people who have had JJ and then Moderna as a booster need a third shot? Levine – should be protected; waiting to see if CDC will issue guidance on this
  • Bill H.606 requires 50% of land to remain undeveloped. What do you think of it especially the impact on housing development? Scott – have not seen it yet but will look into it
  • Pfizer now recommending 4th dose. Your position and state’s involvement? Mandates? Scott – reality may be series of shots in the future, much like the flu; widespread mandate is not something I foresee at this point in time. Levine – manufacturers are collecting data but do not set national policy; sure advisory panels of CDC and FDA panels weigh in
  • Masks optional in school – how and when will decision be made on vaccination requirement for 2022-23 school? Levine – Heartened by uptake of child vaccination and VT may still be leading nation on that front; Vermont immunization advisory council discussion and advice in future meeting and make recommendations; now no contemplation to do so; not aware if active issue around the country in other school districts
  • Monoclonal antibody treatment funding reduced and federal government pulling coverage for uninsured people on testing, vaccinations, and treatment. How will this affect uninsured Vermonters? Levine – have not heard what you heard; we have adequate monoclonal in VT and should not impact Vermonters; White House is winding down testing and treatment for uninsured, but is advocating for congress to appropriate funding to be reinstated
  • Workforce issues – what about increasing minimum wage generally in Vermont instead of relying on market forces for change to bring workers to the state and make VT a leader? Scott – supply & demand best policy for wage growth; applaud Vail for raising min. wage because they are in need of workers––case in point. Provide more affordable housing for those in the middle; we asked for more money for housing not included in budget adjustment act; people are coming to Vermont not for the min. wage but for quality of life and opportunity
  • Holding onto masks and rapid test for possible need in future – what capacity and preparations will state keep in place; what will get further unwinding? Any specific state resources? Any programs you need to hold on to? Scott – we provided guidelines but no mandates after state of emergency lapse; continue to keep tools in toolbox available and prepared; continue to review systems and people resources in place; we learned a lot and know what works and are prepared to use when necessary and will turn to when needed.
  • Age group 18-29 not at 50% vaccination; what efforts, concerns?Scott – A source of frustration; within group is college students and 97+% completely vaccinated; perhaps thought is not high risk group, but they should want to reduce risk as much as possible and still advise complete vaccination for best level of immunity; expanded access to vaccine to meet this age group where they are.
  • Schools dropping communications around cases – if school sees spike are they prohibited from sharing information to help others determine their risk? Sec. Boucher – nothing in place to prohibit communications. Levine – test at home is still active
  • How are things working out for state workers returning to offices?   Sec. Clouser – remote work plans are different based on programmatic needs; in general start seeing remote workers return to office for core days, typically 2-3 days a week

In closing:

Governor Scott:

  • Pitched reminder for legislature to work on broadband, housing, $50 million tax relief package to help 25% of Vermonters
  • Tonight at 6:30 on the State House steps there will be a vigil held in solidarity with people of Ukraine; Scott will be signing bill dedicating more than $640,000 toward humanitarian efforts in Ukraine which equal $1 for each Vermonter; Vermont Youth Orchestra will be performing