In the News
Vermont ‘reopening’ will include continued restrictions for some

Vermont officials could drop all pandemic restrictions by the end of this week. With 79.6% of eligible Vermonters now having had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, that leaves 2,385 still needing to get their shot to reach the 80% target.

But even when Vermont hits the magic number, some rules aren’t going away immediately.

When we hit 80%, masking and distancing will be encouraged, not required. And there will be no restrictions on gathering sizes or capacity.

“We’re starting to see a few functions come in now,” said Fredrick Bashara, owner of the Capitol Plaza Hotel, J. Morgans Steakhouse, and the Capitol and Paramount Twin Theaters in Montpelier and Barre. He reopened the Capitol just last week. “I would say we probably had 25% of our occupancy, which is pretty good for our first time open.” He says the Paramount is set to open next week, with high hopes of people coming back for the big screen.
Vermont identifies Delta variant in Chittenden County traveler

The Vermont Department of Health has identified its first case of the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant in a Chittenden County resident, who had traveled internationally. 

The state found the first case “around the middle of May,” according to department spokesperson Ben Truman. 

The variant, which was first identified in India, has spread rapidly in the United Kingdom, outpacing the original alpha Covid-19 variant. It has been found in more than 60 countries and so far accounts for about 6% of the cases in the U.S., Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a news briefing this week. 
Health officials, American Cancer Society urge people who missed cancer screenings last year to schedule one
Local 22/44

Last year, millions of people across the United States missed routine cancer screenings, and as Vermont and the nation get back to normal, health leaders want to make sure those important checkups are part of your summer plans.

During the pandemic, the trend of missed screenings sparked concerns that it would lead to delays in identifying people with cancer and treating them, potentially claiming thousands of lives.

According to the American Cancer Society, the amount of people getting screened for colon cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer dropped by as much as 90 percent last spring.

We are very excited to welcome people back,” said Dr. Natasha Withers, a primary care physician at Porter Medical Center. “Re-educate them on how important screenings are, whether that be a wellness exam with your provider or a screening test such as colonoscopies, mammograms, pap smears, and things of that nature.”
Central Vermont Medical Center briefly locked down over false report of a person with gun

Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin was placed briefly on lockdown Wednesday afternoon after a false report that a person in a mental health crisis on the way to the hospital was armed with a gun, according to police.

Authorities quickly determined that the person did not have a firearm, police said. 

Berlin Police Sgt. Mark Monteith said the report came in around 4:40 p.m., and the lockdown at the medical center lasted about 10 minutes. 

The sergeant said two members of the Berlin Police Department and three Vermont State Police officers went to the hospital. The lockdown was lifted after they determined the person did not have a firearm. 

No charges are expected as a result of the incident, Monteith said.
Vermont, Hawaii Top Best Vaccinated States List: Here’s The Top 10
Travel Awaits

If you’re looking to travel but want to go somewhere where residents have embraced the idea of coronavirus vaccinations, look to the Northeast. Or the Pacific Coast. Or even further west.

President Biden has set a goal of having 70 percent of the nation’s adults vaccinated by the Fourth of July holiday. States in New England, Hawaii, and elsewhere in the West are pushing hard to reach that goal, and several have already passed it.

Vermont is leading the way, with 81.2 percent of residents age 12 or older having gotten at least the first dose of the vaccine, according to data updated daily by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Why aren’t young Vermonters getting vaccinated?

Vermont is leading the nation in its Covid-19 vaccination effort and is likely just days away from 80% of all eligible residents receiving at least one shot, a threshold at which the state will relax nearly all restrictions still in place.

But that topline number hides variability about who is — or isn’t — getting jabbed. One particular standout demographic? Young adults.

Only about 53% of all 18- to 29-year-olds have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Vermont Department of Health. That’s more than 20 percentage points lower than the vaccination rate (74%) for 30- to 39-year-olds, who became eligible for the shots just a week earlier. 

It’s also a fairly large slice of Vermont’s total population. More than 83,000 people in the state are between the ages of 20 and 29, according to data provided by the state.

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