Brattleboro and VT COVID-19 Regional Dashboard Summary – April 2023

Here’s the April 2023 dashboard summary. We continue semi-regular COVID-19 dashboard numbers from the Vermont Department of Health, and MA and NH counties that surround Brattleboro, as long as they continue providing them.  That won’t be much longer. All seem to be wrapping up in the next month or so.  Scroll down the new comments for the latest.

VT, NH, and MA all seem to be doing weekly updates now, near the end of the week.

COVID Vigilance Needed for Those Over 65

The hypervigilance phase of the COVID pandemic is over but the disease will, most likely, never go away. That’s not earth shattering news but many of us, especially people over 65, should be mindful of the disease and protect ourselves as much as we can. New variants pop up and each one seems to be more communicable than the next.

The fact that a significant number of people have had COVID and have been vaccinated makes casual transmission less likely, but the threat will always be there. Consider these statistics from the CDC.

Every week over 260,000 people contract COVID, over 2000 people die from COVID in the U.S. every week and 3500 people a day are in the hospital because of COVID.

We All Need A Plan to Deal with COVID

It’s more than two years since we were first confronted with a new pandemic. There have been very difficult times and less difficult times, but most of us have reached the point where we want this whole COVID thing to be over. But COVID will most likely be with us forever and we need to learn how to deal with it.

People have started to act more “normally” in the past few months because the number of COVID cases and deaths has been decreasing and the number of vaccinated people is high. Unmasked is the more common attire these days and it scares me.

Selectboard Meeting Notes – No Business Likes Snow Business

selectboard february 15, 2022

The Brattleboro selectboard had strong words for downtown property owners over sidewalk snow removal. It was a good old-fashioned Selectboard -DBA battle for a while there, when the downtown organization tried to pass responsibility for clearing snow to the Town.  No, insisted the board. Building owners have always been required to clear it, and if the downtown organization feels it is a shabby job, perhaps they should pay to use a more professional service. Take that.

They also raced through some public hearings, updates and reports.

Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting – Agenda and Notes February 15, 2022

At their next regular meeting the Brattleboro Selectboard will consider changing the rules about downtown snow removal, possibly ending the practice of removing snow for building owners and charging them after for the work.

The board will revisit the mask mandate, take care of some grants, appoint some people, and consider use of ARPA funds to replenish the parking fund. You can, as always, bring up pther items not on the agenda during public participation.

Selectboard Meeting Notes – Peter Elwell’s Final Meeting, Mask Mandate Modified

peter elwell

It’s the final regular meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard for 2021, (if any meeting this year could be called “regular.”)

The board reconsidered the mask mandate, reviewed FY’23 matters, looked at annual audit results, considered financial reports, and bought some trucks and equipment repairs. More interesting to me, though, was that this was the last “regular” meeting for outgoing Town Manager Peter Elwell. That’s kind of where my thoughts are tonight, more than on budgets and such.

And, for that reason, I don’t plan to transcribe everything word for word tonight. Instead some thoughts…and a bit of the meeting.


The only thing we know for sure about CV-19 is that we don’t know ANYTHING for sure.

There are lots of conflicting stories about the ”Pandemic” floating around and no way to tell for sure which of them are accurate.

MSNBC is saying one thing and FOX is saying another.

Vermont Leads The Nation Combating COVID – Now Lets Lead On A Green New Deal!

Cabot, Vermont, 6/15/21 – With over 80% of Vermonters having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 72% of us fully vaccinated, today [6/15/21] the Governor declared an end to the State of Emergency and the termination of pandemic related social restrictions. It is significant that Vermont is the first U.S. State to reach an 80% vaccinated rate. It is also significant that throughout the pandemic Vermont suffered only 24,339 known COVID infections and 256 total deaths; both our infection and mortality rate were the least in the Nation compared to the 49 other States. And while even a single death is a regrettable tragedy, stacked against Alabama’s half a million plus cases and 11,000 (and counting) fatalities, it’s clear that we fared better than most. And while we are not out of the woods yet, we have also emerged with the 5th lowest unemployment rate in the Nation at 2.9% (Texas by comparison is at 6.7% while Florida is at 4.8%).

How did we do this? Well, while much of the South and other parts of the country fretted about masks being an infringement of civil liberties and the vaccine being part of some insane conspiracy, Most Vermonters from the get go cared about their communities, abided by social distancing, wore masks (even before any mandates came into effect), and worked collaboratively in making our society resilient in the face of hardship.

Selectboard Meeting Notes – Police Hours Change, Mask Mandate To Expire, Water Treatment Plant Contract Approved

Brattleboro Selectboard june 1

The Brattleboro Selectboard approved a plan to let Brattleboro Police switch from an understaffed three shift system to a two shift system that will reduce hours and stress. Brattleboro will go without patrol staff for certain hours of the week.

The water treatment plant is going ahead with approval of a firm to build the new plant, despite a bad reference and previous bad town experiences with the company. The local mask mandate will be lifted on Friday. And State Senator Becca Balint described the huge piles of money coming to Vermont in the near future.

Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes – June 1, 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard will take up matters relating to COVID at their next regular meeting. State Senator Becca Balint will give an update on ARPA and other funding sources, the board will discuss what to do about the mask order in town, they’ll talk about in-person meeting possibilities. and whether to continue deferring Small Business Loans.

Hiring a firm to help find Brattleboro a new Town Manager is up for discussion, as will approving a nearly $12 million big to build a new water treatment plant. You can bring up other items not on the agenda, and/or ask for your $12 million, during public participation.

Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes + Special Guest

Congressman Peter Welch will be a special guest at the Brattleboro Selectboard’s next regular meeting. He’ll be joining to discuss the stimulus package and other issues.

Otherwise, it is a rather standard meeting agenda, with lots of usual set-up and orientation for the new board, reviewing RTM actions, and appointing people to various positions and committees. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.

Brattleboro Selectboard Meeting Agenda and Notes – March 2, 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard will take up Community Safety Review recommendations at their next regular meeting, which happens to fall on Town Meeting day. Town staff has provided the board with a path for adopting recommendations, if they so choose.

The board will also pick up on their conversation about Cow Power, get grant money for the new train station parking lot, and some possible money for eligible households impacted by COVID. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.

Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – January 26, 2021

At their next meeting, the Brattleboro Selectboard will wrap up their budget season by approving the final FY22 budget and sending it with warned articles to Representative Town Meeting representatives. They’ll also accept a COVID grant and make committee appointments. It could be their shortest meeting in quite some time. You can extend it by  bringing up other items not on the agenda during public participation.

Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda & Notes – January 5, 2021

To kick off the new year, the Brattleboro Selectboard will hear a report and recommendations from the Community Safety Review Committee. The board will also consider an increase to Human Services funding, contemplate mailed ballots for Town Meeting Day, and call for volunteers to serve on committees.

COVID Forever?

Some people are delusional enough to think that humans will eradicate the COVID 19 virus. That is not likely. Consider the fact that the only infectious disease affecting humans ever to be eradicated was smallpox. That disease was declared eliminated on December 9, 1979.

Since then we have been exposed to a number of new and old diseases such as HIV, Ebola as well as the seasonal flu that we have learned how to control but not eliminate. It is estimated that about 35,000 Americans died from the flu during the 2018-19 flu season. That is an average number of deaths according to statistics from the past ten years.