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On Friday, state parks open and gathering sizes increase

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 4:14am -- tim

Agency of Commerce All of Vermont’s state parks will be open for public use effective June 26th. Mandatory health and safety guidelines will be in effect. Day use activity will be managed to ensure sufficient physical space is available for social distancing, and amenities will be scaled back. State park campgrounds will be limited to tent, RV and lean-to camping; a new and improved web-based reservation system is also now available. Also effective Friday, arts, culture, and entertainment venues, as well as restaurants, can expand capacity for events and dining to 50% of approved occupancy size, with new maximum gathering sizes of 75 people for indoor events and 150 people for outdoor events.

Comcast extends 60-days of free Internet offer through 2020

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 3:05am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As cities and towns across the country begin to open up, Comcast is continuing its efforts to help people connect to the Internet during the COVID-19 crisis. Today, the company announced it will extend free access to its 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots to anyone who needs them, including non-customers, through the end of 2020.

VDH COVID-19 Update: Responding to Rutland and Windham county clusters

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 6:36pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said as the state reopens, and as more of us are outside, being active, seeing family and friends, gathering in groups at events like barbecues on the lake, or even at a protest, the risk of transmission does increase. However, the virus is still out there and should continue to practice health care commonsense. Dr Levine also provided an update on three Health Department investigations: A community outbreak based in Winooski/Burlington has 114 associated cases; An employer-based cluster in the Fair Haven region has 12 associated cases; A family-based cluster in Windham County has no new cases and fewer than 10 total to date. However, as of today's report, there were 20 new cases statewide for a total of 1,184.

United Way issues $1.5 million in program funding grants

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 5:04pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine United Way of Northwest Vermont has issued its third round of program funding grants to 50 local nonprofit organizations serving Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, finalizing a three-year funding commitment that collectively totals $4.5 million in community investments. In May of 2018, United Way’s board of directors unanimously approved the funding cycle, aimed at supporting a portfolio of programs that address five strategic priorities: Advancing Employment, Reducing Substance Use Disorder, Meeting Basic Needs (Housing, Food, Transportation and Health Care), Supporting Families and Promoting Mental Health.

Address of Senator Patrick Leahy on policing reform

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 4:35pm -- tim

Senator Patrick Leahy No one will dispute that police officers have incredibly cha ollenging jobs. No one will dispute that they are faced with difficult split second decisions that impact life and death. But that difficulty does not excuse the fact that something is deeply wrong in our country.  It does not excuse the fact that people of color have disproportionately suffered from police misconduct. People of color disproportionately are profiled by police, are stopped by the police, are arrested by police, and are victims of excessive force at the hands of police.

National Life reduces work force by 95 in face of economic downturn

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 3:07pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine National Life Group reduced its work force this week to respond to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Montpelier-based insurer announced the layoffs today. The reductions affected both of National Life’s primary offices, in Montpelier and Addison, Texas. A total of 95 jobs were affected, 53 in Vermont, 30 in Texas, and 12 in other remote locations. National Life’s total employment company-wide stood at 1,400 before the reductions. The company will offer severance pay, as well as reimbursement for health, dental, and vision coverage, to impacted employees.

UVM Medical Center adjusts welcoming policy to allow limited visitors today

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 11:43am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Following guidance from the State of Vermont, the University of Vermont Medical Center is scaling back some limitations on visitors to the hospital. The UVM Medical Center and all other hospitals in the state began restricting visitation in March to slow the spread of COVID-19. To protect patients, visitors and staff, all visitors will be screened and required to follow safety measures.

CCV/Northfield Savings partnership will expand access, flexibility for students

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 9:31am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Working adult students will have more choices and greater flexibility when pursuing higher education, thanks to a grant from the Northfield Savings Bank Foundation (NSBF) that is allowing the Community College of Vermont (CCV) to expand Flex, an innovative course delivery model which allows students to work through online classes at their own pace. 

VDH COVID-19 Update: Brattleboro cluster investigated, one new case

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 5:41pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health today is reporting that they have identified a smaller cluster of COVID-19 cases in Brattleboro. They do not consider this a community-wide spread as it appears to be isolated to a family group. Statewide, the VDH is reporting 1,164 total cases with one new case. There are two people hospitalized and the number of deaths are holding at 56.

Health Department responds to cluster of COVID-19 cases in Windham County

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 4:54pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health is continuing to investigate and respond to a small cluster of COVID-19 cases in Windham County to prevent further spread. VDH said the cases are currently limited to a small number of people with familial connections. There does not appear to be additional community spread associated with this situation. Because COVID-19 spreads easily from person-to-person, these types of investigations are becoming more common ─ especially as more sectors open back up, and more people are getting together with family and friends and others in their communities.

Condos announces start of early voting period for August 11 primaries

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 4:45pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos announced the June 26 official start date of the early voting period for the Vermont Statewide Primary elections, which take place on August 11. Vermont’s no-excuse, 45-day early voting period allows any registered voter to request an early ballot. For the 2020 August Primary elections the Secretary of State’s office will be mailing all registered voters a postcard with instructions on how to request their ballot, which will include a tear-off, postage paid, pre-addressed return postcard that voters can use to request their ballot.