Windsor-Orange 2 COVID-19 update (3/26/20)
First, today Governor Scott closed Vermont schools for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year. You can read the Governor's directive here. Schools had originally been closed for in-person instruction until April 6th. The Agency of Education will give guidance regarding end of school year gatherings and graduations by May 8th.
Second, Senator Leahy announced today that the Federal stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Senate would send approximately $2 billion Vermont's way. While his announcement did not breakdown what the $2 billion would go to, it did provide the following detail:
$1.25 billion, from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, would to support state and counties that are addressing the economic devastation brought about by the virus
$5.4 million to support public health preparedness and response activities through the Centers for Disease Control;
$4.7 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to support the expansion of community health facilities, child care centers, food banks, and senior services;
$5 million in Community Service Block Grants to address the consequences of increasing unemployed and economic disruption;
$4.3 million in Child Care Development Block Grants to support child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers and other works deemed essential during the corona virus response;
$4.6 million for housing assistance grants through the Department of Housing and Urban Development;
$4.1 million in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
$20 million to support public transportation emergency relief;
$9.6 million to support the state’s airports;
$3 million in election assistance grants;
$2 million to support state and local law enforcement and corrections through the Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program;
$826,000 through the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities to support museums, libraries and other organizations that have been forced to shut their doors due to the virus;
$175,000 to support small- and medium-sized manufacturers recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program; and
$862,000 in Emergency Preparedness Grants through the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
My gut tells me this is not the last stimulus bill we are going to see.
Third, here is today's State Emergency Operations Center executive summary. Something that caught my eye in today's report that I have't seen in prior days: "Vermont State Police (VSP) are aware of some frustrations among shoppers and asked their troopers to pass through stores as possible. Information was shared with local and county law enforcement agencies." I haven't heard of any issues in the Upper Valley, but that sounds ominous.
Fourth, from the Governor's stay-at-home order yesterday, here is a link to the ACCD's updated guidance that highlights which businesses might be exempt from the order. I continue to get questions on who is and isn't exempt. This is going to continue to evolve.
Fifth, if you're keeping an eye on the growth in positively identified COVID-19 infections you'll see that VT has experienced a doubling of infections every 2.5-3.0 days. New York hospitalization growth has "slowed" from a projected doubling every 2 days to doubling every 4.7 days. I guess that counts as good news this week.