coronavirus

Vermont Gov. Scott to Give Coronavirus Update

Gov. Phil Scott will give an update on the coronavirus crisis in Vermont Tuesday as voters head to the polls for the state's primary

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott is scheduled to give a coronavirus update at 11 a.m. Tuesday as voters head to the polls for the state's primary election.

Among the races being decided are primary contests for governor, lieutenant governor, the U.S. House and many legislative races. Scott, a popular incumbent, is being challenged for his party's nomination by four lesser-known candidates.

The update comes after Scott's Friday announcement that all fall sports can resume when schools reopen in Vermont on Sept. 8.

"Things will look much different, especially when it comes to high-contact sports," Scott said Friday. "This won't be a normal season, but our goal is to offer a path forward for each of these sports to give our kids some sense of normalcy."

Practice for sports, including cross country running, soccer, field hockey, football, cheer-leading, volleyball and golf, will start when schools are back in session on Sept. 8, according to Scott. The state is currently developing coronavirus policies for the season.

Scott also announced a $12 million financial assistance program to help childcare providers with losses and additional expenses associated with COVID-19, emphasizing the sector's "critical" role in supporting families.

Schools in the state are working on plans to reopen under three possible models: full remote learning, full in-class learning and a hybrid of the two.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine noted that the state hit a milestone Friday after testing more than 100,000 people for coronavirus in Vermont, roughly 16% of the population. The state had a total of 1,463 cases as of Monday. The death toll remains at 58.

"Testing has been essential in helping us learn how much the virus is in our communities," Levine said Friday. "And while testing is a valuable tool, it isn't what has kept so many people safe and healthy. You did that. Vermonters did that by staying home whenever possible, by wearing masks in public, and following all of the other prevention steps."

While the number of new cases in the state has remained low, nearly 150 Vermont inmates housed in a Mississippi prison have tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, the head of the Vermont Corrections Department announced last week. Those inmates have been placed in medical isolation, according to Vermont Department of Corrections Commissioner Jim Baker.

Vermont houses 219 inmates at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, Mississippi, because of a lack of capacity in its own prisons. Late last month, six inmates who were returned to Vermont from the private Mississippi prison tested positive when they arrived at the Rutland, Vermont, correctional facility. That prompted Vermont’s Corrections Department to order that the remaining Vermont inmates in Mississippi be tested.

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