(802) 479-2420 panthony@leg.state.vt.us

On Nov.  22, Monday of Thanksgiving week the legislature met and passed legislation to allow towns to implement local masking policies to mitigate the spread of COVID19 in their communities and provide
an extra tool to keep Vermonters healthy and safe. Given that the Governor has refused
to use his existing authority to allow this path for municipalities, the leg. believed  this
legislation is needed. However, we still believe that a broader approach to keeping
Vermonters safe and our health care system afloat is necessary during the surge of
COVID19 across Vermont. The Legislature is limited in what we are able to do when
not in regular session, both by the Governor’s veto threat and legislative procedure, but
we all agreed that we could quickly do this one small thing for Vermonters in the face of
the administration’s continued lack of action.


“We share the disappointment of so many Vermonters that the Governor and his staff
are not implementing more measures to keep us safe, especially when the
administration’s sciencebased COVID response was once a source of collective pride.
The Governor continues to have all the tools and authority to act quickly in this moment
to stop more people from becoming sick, and to stop our ICUs from being overwhelmed Healthcare workers  have performed way beyond  normal duties, and deserve some relief from the numbers of cases.


“Vermont has one of the highest case rates in the country, the number of individuals in
hospitals and ICUs remains high, and Vermonters’ lives are being disrupted because
they need to stay home and take care of loved ones while they anxiously await their test
results, or worse, are unable to access testing. In light of this, we ask him to use those
powers to implement more public health measures to protect communities.”

 

The Barre City Council has not yet taken up the topic,   but will.  One idea is to engage the city’s  Board of Health to advise the Council.  Choices as to totally MASK versus selective restrictions, and perhaps a ‘trigger’ sensitive to the statics on infection rates or vaccinations rates within and nearby our city.