47 to 15: Mask-free towns in Vermont outnumber masked 3-1

By Guy Page

St. Johnsbury, Bennington and a large number of smaller towns have joined the ranks of Vermont municipalities that have voted no on a mask mandate or have simply opted to not bring it for a vote due to lack of interest.

According to the Vermont Daily Chronicle Mask Mandate Scoreboard as of Tuesday, 47 selectboards and city councils have either said no or are unlikely to raise the issue — an effective “no.” Municipalities like Bennington and Rutland City that passed resolutions strongly urging the wearing of masks, but stopped short of a mandate, also are in the “no” column.

Towns of both sides of the issue say lack of enforcement figured into the decision.

“The board voted for a town wide mask mandate, but there is no real way to enforce it,” a Danville town official said. “This allows businesses to make a decision for what they want to do, with a backing by the board.”

The Orange County town of Chelsea has been struggling with having enough police coverage to investigate property crimes such as theft from businesses. Asking police to enforce a mask ordinance was clearly a bridge too far.

“Our Selectboard chose not to approve a mask mandate,” Clerk Karen Lathrop said. “Small towns have no way to enforce a mandate or a budget with which to hire someone to enforce them.”

The one new addition to the “yes” list since yesterday – the town of Norwich, which is a bedroom town for Dartmouth College and the nearby Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center – included a plethora of exemptions. According to the Valley News, the rule does not apply to schools, churches, private residences or offices where people are separated from the general public. Also exempt are stores, gyms or theaters that restrict entrance to those who have been vaccinated for COVID-19.”

Starting yesterday, Vermont filmmaker and activist Bradford Broyles has prepared a holiday shopping guide for Vermonters seeking to bring their business to mask-free towns. It will be updated periodically, the most recent version included in each daily Mask Mandate Scoreboard.


Brattleboro – Nov. 23
Burlington – Dec. 2
East Montpelier – Dec. 6
Essex Town – Dec. 6
Montpelier – Dec. 8
Norwich – Dec. 8
Rutland Town – Nov. 24
Thetford – Dec. 6
Waitsfield – Dec. 6
Warren – Nov. 25
Williston – Dec. 7


Barre – Nov. 30
Bennington – Dec. 14*
Brandon – Dec. 7
Burke – Dec. 6
Cambridge – Dec. 7
Charlotte – Dec. 6
Fairfax – Dec. 6
Halifax – Dec. 4
Hardwick – Dec. 2
Hyde Park – Nov. 29
Middlesex – Dec. 7
Morrisville – Dec. 6
Rutland City – Dec. 6
Shelburne – Dec. 7
Springfield – Dec. 6
St. Johnsbury – Dec. 13
Stowe – Dec. 6
Waterbury – Dec. 6

No Action or Discussion Scheduled

Middletown Springs

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

9 thoughts on “47 to 15: Mask-free towns in Vermont outnumber masked 3-1

  1. Stop being a coward and kowtowing to these buffoons. All they want is to control your life and tell you what to do. I don’t EVER wear a mask and nobody says boo to me.

  2. If I were to walk into a business without a mask and attacked for it, I will simply turn on my heel, walk out the door and never return.

  3. The town/city shopping guide is NOT a good idea. I would say that most the businesses in those towns were against it. From my own personal experience even though Bennington voted to not have a mandate they were VERY close to putting one in place. This was after numerous businesses told the select board they did NOT want one. I personally know of 20 businesses in town that were against a mandate.

    So what I am saying here is do not punish businesses in towns with a mandate because of the stupidity of their select boards.

    • Sorry, you may be right, the businesses may not have wanted the masks. However the selectboard members know better than everyone else just like under the golden dome. When the business being conducted in those towns is impacted they may have a change of heart. because that money will also impact town services. Money talks and BS walks.

    • Missing the overarching issue sir – all who enter business must wear mask. There are ppl who cannot wear a mask and I am only one. Ppl with acute health problems such as congestive heart failure, chronic respiratory illness, COPD, ppl with heart problems and even smokers should not wear masks. Chancellor Scott did make the ‘mandate’ open-ended and guidance was given that unmasked should be considered unable to wear masks. These small-time bureaucrats relish any power they can grab and are just as unlikely to cede any.

      I know the places in my area that do not require me to wear mask even tho there’s a sign on door claiming they *must* be worn and accept my chronic respiratory condition. Even my hospital and clinic are not pushing it for ppl like me however I wear a mask w/o pulling it over nose bc there are sick ppls who are also brainwashed and I do not want them to feel unsafe in a trusted healthcare setting.

      I call businesses ahead to inquire of policy. I am not going into a potentially hostile environment to hand my money to a business that is or must enforce these mandates period. It is offputting, demoralizing and deeply offensive. my life being complicated causes me to not go out and spend money when I have it. So it’s not quite as easy as strolling into a business to support them.

      Elections have consequences and one can only hope a few town or city councilors, other buteaucrats and BOS will be sh**canned.

    • I think you are right Seth.
      Over here in NH, Keene is now looking at having a mask mandate and it’s being hotly contested.
      They did a survey of the actual business owners on Main Street in Keene and the overwhelming majority of them said that NO they Do Not want a Mask Mandate.
      So wouldn’t we think that would be the end of the conversation?
      Of course not.
      This is not about masks- the people spoke.
      This is about control and trying the wrest the power and control from the business owners and all of us really.

  4. Well, at least there are 47 towns in this state that “get it”. The rest need to be “re-educated” and brought out of the “cult of self-asphyxiation”.

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