Governor’s reflection on coronavirus

GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT ANNOUNCES NEW GUIDANCE ON COVID-19 COMMUNITY MITIGATION MEASURES

 All Bars and Restaurants Must Close or Offer Takeout Only

Gatherings are limited to less than 50 people or 50% of occupancy of a facility

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced new guidance in response to COVID-19, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. Today’s guidance updates the executive order he issued on March 13, which declared a state of emergency in Vermont.

First, as announced at a press conference Monday morning, new guidance further restricts the size of mass gatherings to the lesser of 50 people or 50% of the occupancy of a facility. This restriction applies to all social, recreational or entertainment activities, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, theater, gymnasium, fitness center, library or any other confined indoor or confined outdoor space.

The Governor is also ordering the closure of all bars and restaurants statewide. Establishments can continue to offer food takeout and delivery service. This measure is effective beginning 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 and is in effect until April 6, though this could be extended.

These changes reflect the growing trend of confirmed coronavirus cases in Vermont, new recommendations from the CDC, social distancing and mitigation efforts recommended by the Vermont Department of Health, and ongoing discussions with neighboring states.

Additional reductions or prohibitions may be implemented or amended as needed.

Additionally, state government agencies and departments are working to transition the state employee workforce to remote work, while also implementing measures to limit person to person transactions in state offices, like the DMV. Those measures will be combined with 90-day extensions in license and registration renewals.

Most individuals affected by COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms but some individuals – especially the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions – are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. Through his emergency powers, Governor Scott is implementing additional mitigation strategies to protect those at greatest risk, slow the spread of illness in our communities and minimize the risk to the public.

“I want Vermonters to know we’re continuously evaluating other mitigation steps and we’ll continue to communicate those as they are put into place,” said Governor Scott. “It’s important to remember that in times of crisis we all need to make sacrifices. But Vermonters, and all Americans, have risen to many challenges before, and this time will be no different.”

Details on the specific actions taken are outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order, which is available by clicking here. Addendum 1, reducing gathering size, is available by clicking here and Addendum 2, closing bars and restaurants, is available by clicking here.

S.320 Hearing Aid Bill

Now is a SIGNIFICANT time to contact your senator about getting this bill, S.320 to pass! Hearing aids are expensive for many Vermonters!  We are gaining momentum now and there is a GOOD chance to get this bill moved to the House for review.

Would you consider contacting these Senators, especially if they are YOUR senators? Ask them to hold a hearing on this bill: S.320 “An act relating to an incremental approach to health insurance coverage for hearing aids”  Ask to meet with them to tell them about the importance of hearing aid coverage.

Ann Cummings, Chair of the Finance Committee, acummings@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:acummings@leg.state.vt.us> (802) 223-6043 Home Address 24 Colonial Dr., Montpelier, VT 05602
Mark A. MacDonald, Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, mmacdonald@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:mmacdonald@leg.state.vt.us> 404 MacDonald Rd., Williamstown, VT 05679 Home Phone(802) 272-1101 senatormark@aol.com<mailto:senatormark@aol.com>
Christopher Pearson, Chittenden District CPearson@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:CPearson@leg.state.vt.us> 12 Brookes Ave., Burlington, VT 05401 Work Phone(802) 860-3933
Randy Brock, Franklin District rbrock@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:rbrock@leg.state.vt.us> 2396 Highgate Rd., St. Albans, VT 05478-9795 Home Phone (802) 868-2300
Brian Campion, Bennington District bcampion@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:bcampion@leg.state.vt.us> 1292 West Road, Bennington, VT 05201 campionvt@gmail.com<mailto:campionvt@gmail.com>
Michael Sirotkin, Chittenden District msirotkin@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:msirotkin@leg.state.vt.us> 80 Bartlett Bay Rd., South Burlington, VT 05403 Home Phone (802) 999-4360 sirotkin.senate@gmail.com<mailto:sirotkin.senate@gmail.com>
Becca Balint, Bill Sponsor, Windham District  bbalint@leg.state.vt.us<mailto:bbalint@leg.state.vt.us>  802-257-4162   271 South Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301

Bill to support Open Caption Movie Bill

John Quinney (cc’d johnq@gmavt.net) the Vermont Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America has announced that the open caption movie bill, H. 312, has a one hour hearing this Friday at 8:30 with the House Human Services.

John invites everyone to write a letter of support and email it to him as a PDF by today at noon. If you’re able to do this, your letters should be sent to John as a pdf and addressed to:

Rep. Ann Pugh
Chair, House Human Services Committee
Vermont State House
115 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-5301

The letters should be as personalized as possible, and may also cover these points:
· 60,000 Vermonters have hearing loss, and are at risk of social isolation
· Most have stopped going to the movies because they don’t understand the dialog.
· Offering a small number of open caption screenings would bring many of these people back to the movies.
· Turning on open captions is as simple as adding subtitles to home streamed movies. There is no cost.
· H. 312 requires open caption screenings to be clearly identified on all marketing materials, so that movie goers can choose accordingly.

Please see the attached background information compiled by John.

If anyone would like to testify, please contact John. He says: “Your personal experience would, of course be useful; we’re also looking for people to speak to the risks and costs of social isolation that are too often linked to disabilities. We have an hour, and want to provide plenty of time for questions, so you could expect to speak for about five minutes or so. Written testimony is also useful – mine will be based on the attached case study.”Access Denied – The Case for H. 312 – Open Captions at the Movies 09-23-19

Click this link to open the PDF and send the letter with your signature.
http://www.deafvermont.com/wp-content/uploads/Access-Denied-The-Case-for-H.-312-Open-Captions-at-the-Movies-09-23-19.pdf