By Guy Page
Here’s a roundup of several bits of as-yet-unpublished news concerning Vermont’s response to Covid-19.
Eight of 14 October Covid-19 deaths were “fully vaccinated,” Health Department says – but number of unvaxxed deaths unspecified. For the second straight week, the Vermont Department of Health on Tuesday listed the number of the most recent Covid-19 fatalities without distinguishing between vaxxed and unvaxxed.
Health Commissioner Mark Levine was unaware of the vaxxed/unvaxxed breakdown of the 14 listed October fatalities, but promised his staff would provide that information. On Oct. 13, DOH press spokesperson emailed the Chronicle: “As of today, eight of the last 14 deaths associated with Covid-19 were among people who were fully vaccinated.” However, of the six remaining, there was no not-fully-vaxxed/unvaxxed breakdown. The Chronicle will publish this information as it is provided.
Three UVMMC nurses resigned due to Covid-19 vaccination and testing guidelines. In response to questioning by Vermont Daily Chronicle, University of Vermont Medical Center press spokesperson Neal Goswami said three nurses resigned “as of the beginning of the month” due to hospital vax/testing mandates. None had been terminated, he said.
Vax not required for hospital treatment – but some testing required. Goswami also was asked about UVMMC policies for vaccination and testing of treatment. He responded: “There is no vaccination requirement for patients, but patients undergoing procedures must have a COVID test.”
A mask mandate “won’t get one single person to wear a mask,” Gov. Scott says. Reporter Anne Wallace Allen of Seven Days said she is hearing “from a lot of people who feel strongly there should be a stronger mass mandate.” Why isn’t the Health Department doing more to require masking, she asked.
Scott answered, “If you’re unvaccinated and you’re indoors, you should be wearing a mask. You should be wearing a mask,” he repeated with emphasis.
But then he conceded that mask mandates won’t work, because people will ignore them.
“Now I don’t think my saying that, or us mandating that, is going to get one single person to wear a mask that doesn’t want to wear a mask. The enforcement is the challenge. Compliance is the challenge.”
Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.