VT Schools To Close

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced Sunday that all pre-K-12 schools in the state will close no later than Wednesday and remain closed until April 6, according to a news release from Scott’s office.

Students are not required to go to school Monday or Tuesday, if their parents or guardians would prefer to keep them home, Scott said.

Town of Brattleboro COVID-19 Update  – March 14, 2020

The United States Government and the State of Vermont are operating under State of Emergency declarations issued by President Trump and Governor Scott related to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. While a separate local State of Emergency is not necessary in Brattleboro at this time, the Town of Brattleboro has implemented a variety of emergency actions and is planning to scale-up local emergency actions, if necessary. 

Fire Chief Mike Bucossi, who also is the Town’s Emergency Management Director, is in close ongoing communication with Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Rescue Inc., and other emergency health service providers. Chief Bucossi and Town Manager Peter Elwell are in daily communication with the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Emergency Management. Through this coordination, they are not only ensuring the preparedness of Brattleboro town government but also assisting in the preparedness of first responders throughout southeastern Vermont. All other members of the Town’s senior management team are maintaining similarly close contact with their colleagues in State government and others to ensure that the Town’s actions are taken in concert with similar actions to protect the public throughout Vermont and beyond. 

The following summary of the Town’s actions on this matter are separated into “Emergency Services,” “Non-Emergency and Administrative Support Services,” and “Representative Town Meeting and Other Meetings”: 

Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes – March 17, 2020

The Brattleboro Selectboard will approve a bid to begin construction of a skatepark at their next regular meeting. Yes, you read that right. The skatepark is finally going to be built.

There will be updates on COVID-19 from the Town Manager and a status update on Representative Town Meeting, a sewer rodder will be bought,  Groundworks will get a $100,000 grant, the Windham Regional Commission will give an update, stormwater will be managed, and more. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during Public Participation.

COVID 19 and the U.S. Health Care System

There may be a bright side to the current COVID 19 pandemic, at least in terms of showing how the current U.S. for-profit health care system fails people when they get sick. In the political debate about a Medicare for All plan the defensive posture is to tell people not to support it because they will have to give up their current health insurance.

Last time I checked I couldn’t find people who tell me they love their current health insurance plan and that they would never give it up. As things stand now for people who have private insurance that they pay for in part, or in whole, contracting a serious case of COVID 19 could mean bills anywhere from $10,000 to one million dollars depending on the type of insurance they have or don’t have.

Brattleboro Town Manager Statement on COVID-19 Rumors

I have been advised this morning that some rumors of significant COVID-19 impacts are circulating in Brattleboro.  Examples include “hospital staff have been instructed not to report to work” and “police officers are wearing masks whenever they are in public.”  These rumors are not true.  Please continue to monitor the situation on the Vermont Health Department’s website at https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus.  Please also continue to encourage members of the public to use that Health Department site as their source of reliable information about COVID-19 in Vermont.  The link to that site remains posted in the “News” section on the right side of the Town’s homepage.  The Health Department is updating the site at least daily and some days it is updated multiple times.