In the News
Grace Cottage Hospital workers assaulted

A man will be in court next month after police say he assaulted three health care workers with bodily fluids.

Kyle Hamilton, 22, was reportedly at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend on May 13. Police say while there, he assaulted three health care workers.

He’s also accused of violating court conditions including not being charged with a new offense and not living at home.
Vermont Covid levels ‘low’ as cases fall throughout New England

Vermont has “low” Covid-19 community levels, according to the latest weekly surveillance report from the state Department of Health.

The report, based on data from May 29 to June 4, reflects the falling Covid case counts statewide and the lower number of new hospital admissions for the disease, according to the department.

The rating comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention downgraded several Vermont counties to “low” community levels last Thursday. Only one county, Bennington, continues to report high levels in the CDC data.
How will rising COVID-19 cases affect summer travel plans?
Deseret News

When asked whether Americans should cancel their travel plans for the summer, CNN’s medical analyst, Dr. Leana Wen, said, “Not necessarily.”

Wen stated that there are several factors travelers could look at while making plans, including their individual medical risk, whether they have recently been infected with COVID-19 and whether they have a plan for if they become infected while traveling, according to CNN.

Dr. Tim Lahey, an infectious disease expert at the UVM Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont, is on the fence about traveling this summer, saying earlier this year, “... part of me is tempted to say don’t make plans. And another part of me sort of said, ‘Hey, live your life. We can’t all live in a box for the rest of our lives,"
Vermont may soon get Covid vaccines for young children. Are we ready for it?

Covid-19 vaccines were everywhere in the spring of 2021.

Nearly one year ago, Gov. Phil Scott lifted major Covid restrictions on businesses and gatherings as the state hit a 80% vaccination rate, the key benchmark of his “Vermont Forward” strategy. 

To hit that goal and surpass it, the state hosted appointment-based vaccine clinics at health care centers, EMS headquarters and pharmacies. Businesses and community organizations held walk-in vaccine clinics at shopping centers and farmers markets — even on the beach. 

The state has since navigated record-breaking Covid cases and several variants of the virus. In the midst of a receding Omicron surge in February, Health Commissioner Mark Levine announced a new Vermont strategy: treating Covid as an “endemic” disease.

Workforce Issues Compound Financial Troubles for Rural NC Hospitals
Public News Service

Rural hospitals, already struggling with financial strains due to COVID-19, face an even more significant threat, experts say: the workforce shortage.

Hospitals say they are short on workers in all areas of the health-care system, not just the clinical ones. According to the American Hospital Association, about 20% of all hospitals across the country expect worker shortages to reach dire levels.

"It (the pandemic) has really stressed the workforce in ways that we're not going to recover from for decades," said Julia Harris, a senior policy analyst with the Bipartisan Policy Center. According to Haris, 2021 saw the biggest drop in the number of nurses in the workforce in history. Over 100,000 nurses disappeared from the hospitals' nursing supply, putting a lot of pressure on smaller facilities to hire nurses.
New gun regulations considered in Vermont

In the wake of mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, Vermont’s Legislature is eyeing new toughened gun regulations.

Sen. Phil Baruth is a leading gun policy advocate at the Statehouse. Following the recent shootings, he said he will likely introduce a bill raising the age to buy semi-automatic guns. He said there should be tougher requirements for training and licensing. Baruth also believes there should be a discussion on purchasing body armor.

“We have criminalized things like radar detectors because they give people an unfair advantage over the police and they impact public safety. I don’t know why we wouldn’t do the same thing with body armor,” said Baruth, D/P-Chittenden County.

This year, Vermont’s Legislature and Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, passed a law banning guns in hospitals. Also, there is an extension on the waiting period for purchasing a gun without a background check.
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