New Covid restrictions ban multi-household gatherings, don’t affect church services

By Guy Page

The executive orders announced today to reduce transmission of Covid-19 in Vermont do not include any restrictions on religious services, Gov. Phil Scott said. 

Gov. Phil Scott

Reporters peppered the governor and Health Commissioner with specific questions about how the new restrictions would impact aspects of life in Vermont. Vermont Daily asked the governor: “Do the new restrictions apply to this weekend’s scheduled religious services?” He answered succinctly: “no.”

New restrictions include:

Ban on ‘multi-household’ gatherings indoors and outdoors, in homes or public spaces. As cases are reported and contact tracing is performed, people at these gatherings can expect to be contacted by, and must comply with, health department authorities. 

All bars and social clubs closed to in-person service.

Restaurants remain open for in-person service until 10 pm. Takeout available. 

Restaurants, museums, gyms must keep log for contact tracing.

All recreational sports on hold, except those sanctioned by VT Principals Association.

The multi-household ban includes extended families gathering for Thanksgiving. Celebrating this holiday will be a single-household event, under the new guidelines. At Tuesday’s press conference, the Health Department noted a large increase in Canadians testing positive after the Canadian Thanksgiving in October. 

Here in Vermont, Halloween parties are being blamed for some of the uptick in cases. A total of 116 positive cases were reported on Nov. 11, 84 yesterday. 

Hospital cyberattack not factor in new restrictions – Like the pandemic, the October 28 cyberattack that stripped the UVM Medical Center of computerized patient records and impacted email and phone service continues, despite herculean containment efforts. In a Nov. 10 statement, UVM Health Network President John Brumstead said, “this cyberattack happened in the midst of a global pandemic that shows no signs of slowing, making this situation even more troubling.”

Vermont Daily asked Commissioner Mark Levine today, “ Are these new restrictions at all prompted by your concern about hospitals’ reduced efficiency due to having to cope with the cyberattack?” His reply was an emphatic ‘no’: “The answer is absolutely not. The hospital is functioning very efficiently, as much as it can. The hospitals are delivering quality care for people. Its concern is about hospitals in general…not letting cases get so high that capacity itself is challenged….. Nothing can be further from the truth. It wasn’t even mentioned in our deliberations.”

Brumstead’s statement paints a picture that, despite IT experts’ hard work and commitment, the hospital may be paperless for a while: 

“Federal authorities have directed us not to discuss the details of the attack on our IT systems in order to preserve the integrity of their investigation. What I can tell you is that this attack was very broad in its reach. That means our response and restoration must be very carefully planned to be sure we can safely and securely restore our systems. The UVM Health Network team is literally working day and night to address this situation and the Governor has called the Vermont National Guard into service to bolster our own resources…. We are making steady gains each day, and I am very proud of our teams for their response to this emergency. Even with our daily gains, we do not yet have a timeframe for full recovery and restoration.”

In calling for Vermonters to “dig deep” and sacrifice, Gov. Scott noted that he has not seen his mother in over a year. Nor has he seen his daughter in Rhode Island since the pandemic began. In a lighter moment, the governor commenting on UVMMC using fax machines in lieu of email: “Who would have thought fax machines would make a comeback?,” he mused. “And drive-ins. Don’t throw out those 8-tracks.”

6 replies »

  1. Fear = Compliance = Submission… the government, Scott and his minions, are out of their minds… are the police going door to door… enough is enough.. stop compliance and submission… this is the USA not the USSR or Communist China.. take back your liberty.

  2. Governor: Visit your Mother and try to learn something from her. Cases are just a lot of false positive nonsense. WE WILL NOT OBEY. WE WILL NOT OBEY. WE WILL NOT OBEY.

    D Morrisseau W Pawlet Hi, Guy !

  3. I just returned from a 2 hour stop in my car, parked in front of the State Capitol in Montpelier.
    I counted 49 out of state vehicles!That’s right…49.
    They were from Alaska, Washington State, California, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio,Michigan,Colorado,and all the way up the East coast and New England.
    Phil Scott tells residents from other states not to travel here without restrictions,etc.I think he is a very naive politician to think that edict will stop visitors coming to Vermont from other states.It appears to be having little effect.
    They appear to be coming despite his proclamation( demand).
    At the same time, Scott is destroying the very livelihood of thousands of Vermonters,with veiled warnings to us to submit to his latest restrictions, or else, he will tighten the screws further.
    Phil Scott is destroying people’s businesses,that in many cases represent a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice.
    Phil Scott is destroying people’s lives,families and their mental health through his demands.
    Phil Scott tells us,” dig deep and sacrifice”, and then goes on to complain that he hasn’t seen his mother or daughter for some time.As if that comment should somehow make us all feel better and accepting of his latest restrictions.He is obviously tone deaf to what is really happening to the citizens of Vermont.
    Suck it up Vermonters and,by the way,do not,under any circumstances, share Thanksgiving with your family.
    Bureaucrats like Phil Scott, government employees, and public education employees have not missed one paycheck during this pandemic.Perhaps,there should be some real shared sacrifice on all their part.Unfortunately, the unions will make sure that never happens.
    If you are concerned for your personal health due to your age,underlying conditions or just are doing what you are told to do…STAY HOME or wear your mask 24/7.Let those that want to live their life in freedom and provide for their families alone.
    Not all of us believe everything we hear from our government.

  4. I’m wondering how soon the police will be stopping by to count the number of people in our house, and interrogate us about possible out of state travel or visitors. He may not be calling this marshal law or even statewide quarantine, but it looks like that’s where we’re heading. Is there a limit to the governor’s authority to control so much of our daily lives? I get that many people are fearful of the pandemic. Many of those folks should stay home in order to keep safe and relieve their fears. Still, it’s troubling to me that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of questioning about these measures. Are they all necessary? Are they the right things to do? Are they the most effective? The threat that there will be more drastic measures if we don’t obey is also troubling. Does the Governor REALLY have the authority to enforce all of this?

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