Gov. Scott allows more businesses to operate, but tight restrictions remain

Gov. Phil Scott on Friday announced a loosening of restrictions on businesses, but many will still not be able to operate as they did before the shutdown.

“We will allow manufacturing and distribution centers to open with a maximum of five employees in a space large enough to keep these workers at least six feet apart at all times,” the governor said during a media briefing.

Outdoor businesses, construction work, and recreation maintenance must also set a limit of five total workers per location.

Businesses previously restricted to curbside pickup can now let up to 10 people in the store. As of May 1, farmers markets may open if they “focus on food distribution and prevent congregating.” They are also encouraged to use a pre-order and pick-up model if possible.

U.S. Department of State

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott

Scott issued new protocols for outdoor retail.

“This latest order will allow for an outdoor retail facility such as a garden center or a greenhouse to allow in-person buying in these outdoor spaces,” the governor said. “But no more than 10 people including customers and staff will be permitted at any one time.”

There is also a special training on safety measures that employees must complete by May 4.

Scott insists that, despite these restrictions, he’s still anxious to see the economy open back up.

“No one wants to get back to work more than me, but as we do we must outsmart and beat this virus,” he said.

The governor’s office on Friday released a detailed explanation of the new order from the governor, which covers phased re-opening, an expansion of health and safety measures, and mandatory training.

The pressure to reopen is driven by increasing unemployment. Approximately 1 in 6 Americans are out of work due to the shutdown, and at least 80,000 Vermonters have lost their jobs since Scott issued a state of emergency.

Vermont Democratic Congressman Peter Welch weighs in

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., participated by phone at Friday’s press conference.

“The effect of social distancing is to shut down businesses for quite some time and we know we have to do it but it’s not without consequence,” he said. “I’m very pleased that in Washington there has been strong bipartisan support for economic measures.”

Rather than focus on reopening businesses faster in light of the falling projected U.S. deaths, Welch called for spending more federal money.

Some of the measures he listed include $1,200 stimulus checks, additional funds for unemployment support, the payroll protection plan, and the economic injury disaster loans. There’s also $100 billion going into the healthcare industry, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for improved testing for the virus.

Welch acknowledged that in addition to businesses suffering, the state government will have its own financial woes.

“This economic situation has put immense pressure on state revenues, Vermont is not unique at all,” he said. “And we must have some focus in Congress going forward on providing aide to the states. … The federal government is really the only governmental entity that has the fiscal capacity to respond to this once-in-a-hundred-year event.”

The U.S. coronavirus death toll hit 53,922 on Monday, with 6,142 of those being attributed to the virus without a positive lab test result. Just over 60,000 Americans are projected to die from the virus according to projections used by the White House.

By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 24,000 and 62,000 Americans have died of seasonal flu since Oct. 1.

Dr. Joshua White says Scott taking right approach

Joshua White, a doctor in emergency medicine at Gifford College, said Scott was wise to implement strong shutdown measures, including forcing restaurants to do takeout.

“Those things do make a difference,” he told True North on Friday. “The concern at that time was not replicating what occurred in northern Italy, where their health care systems were overwhelmed.”

He added that this economic shutdown cannot last indefinitely.

“A lot of the initial stuff we did is really not sustainable,” he said. “You can’t live like that forever. The easy example in medical care is most of the clinics were more or less closed down and very few patients were coming through. That’s a problem because a lot of folks need regular healthcare in order to function.”

Both federal and state guidelines allow medical professionals to record COVID-19 as the cause of death when the descendent never tested positive for the virus. The policy caused New York’s death toll to jump by more than half in one day last week.

White said there will be instances when someone dies from the virus and doesn’t get counted, and cases where someone dies without the virus but gets counted.

“There’s gonna be some degree of fudge-factor in there,” he said. “There’s some degree of inaccuracy in there. You even see that to some degree in deaths by car accident. You may have somebody who wrecks a car and dies but that guy actually had a heart attack, died, then the car wreck.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of State

18 thoughts on “Gov. Scott allows more businesses to operate, but tight restrictions remain

  1. Quoting herein: “The U.S. coronavirus death toll hit 53,922 on Monday, with 6,142 of those being attributed to the virus without a positive lab test result. Just over 60,000 Americans are projected to die from the virus according to projections used by the White House.

    Which is the pandemic?
    According to the Guttmacher Institute, an estimated 862,320 abortions took place in the United States in 2017—down from 926,240 in 2014. Guttmacher’s selected annual abortion estimates for the last 20+ years are listed below:

  2. Constitution crawls from ashes of NWO CCP lie:
    Bill Barr Orders US Attorneys to be on the “Lookout” For Abuses of Power by Government Officials Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
    By Cristina Laila
    Published April 27, 2020 at 6:23pm 296 Comments

    Judge Rules Illinois Governor Exceeded Authority, Violated Civil Rights with Coronavirus Stay-at-Home Order
    By Cristina Laila Published April 27, 2020 at 8:07pm 415 Comments

  3. A lot of unanswered questions about the current scenario.

    It seems that a small cadre at Stanford University has been pushing for a sane strategy to deal with Covid. There are other groups as well that argue for reason and common sense, but they’re being shouted down by those pushing the panic button.

    Many reports are coming out that Covid seems to act by splitting hemoglobin, but the original detailed piece on the pathophysiology of Covid I saw has since been taken down with no explanation, and a rebuttal of that piece was published elsewhere. Interestingly, this rebuttal had many comments that rebutted the rebuttal and linked to other information that substantiated the idea that Covid seems to be attacking hemoglobin. Here’s the best general summary of what we know so far, although the clinical evidence is more detailed and convincing than this: Even high levels of a protein called ferritin in Covid patients are being dismissed as no indication that hemoglobin is being attacked, but this seems to ignore that high ferritin levels indicate unbound iron taken up by this iron storage protein, and iron is what carries oxygen in hemoglobin. This dismissal is too quick. Why?

    If Covid is attacking hemoglobin, then chloroquine treatment makes sense because chloroquine treats malaria, and malaria attacks hemoglobin. Still a lot of unanswered questions, but it appears that the information on Covid and hemoglobin is being actively suppressed, as if the forces are out to counter “misinformation,” which, at this stage, should instead be treated as an avenue to be thoroughly explored. Why?

    The issue of chloroquine is puzzling. We’re told that it works if treatment is early, while the studies that ostensibly disprove it give it far too late (a common trick, I’ve learned, if you want to disprove a treatment option.) In any case, has Dr. Fauci requested 1,000 doctors to test the Zelenko protocol using chloroquine and report back immediately on results? So that we’d know one way or another? No, he has not. The concern that we’d be jumping the gun without rigorous clinical trials is, frankly, just plain dumb: we’re supposed to be in an emergency, and rigorous clinical trials can take years. The best thing to do would be simply to ask doctors to try the protocol– which is an early intervention, not when patients are at death’s door– and report back. Has Vermont done this? Why not? Because Dr. Fauci says the treatment is “anecdotal”? I’ve got news for Dr. Fauci: people dying of Covid is anecdotal, too.

    You’d think that so clumsy is the response to Covid, so ignorant is the investigation into its pathophysiology (how about Dr. Fauci ordering 1,000 detailed autopsies examining the specific biochemical pathways Covid takes and coming up with some answers?), so disregarding and even sabotaging is the approach to treatment options, that we don’t want to solve this thing, and that the real purpose might be to scare the population into accepting GOIT: Government Opacity/Individual Transparency (you DO have your immunity papers, don’t you??) It’s hard to explain this chaotic and highly unorganized response to this supposed “war” any other way.

  4. OK, but let’s not RUSH. As often happens, when folks feel better after a fall, they start getting too active and end up worse off. One step at a time never hurt anyone.

    • Yes, we are supposed to trust this man because he really cares about people. Come off it. What man who finds it perfectly acceptable to kill babies – up to and INCLUDING birth – has any consideration for human lives? Scott is serving his hunger for power and it’s far past the time for us to act, seizing our God-give rights back from totalitarian government.

    • Wrong! Kindly remove head from dark place. It’s hurting everyone young and old and destroying our economy as well as US…great to see you’re one of the few happy campers…have a little <3 for your friends and neighbors. Have heard the taste of fresh boot is gross…but I wouldn't know.

  5. The numbers are coming in all across the world, even with inflating the death rate, the CONTINUED over the top reaction to what this new flu virus actually has shown itself to be is insanity. Time for the Governor to grow a set and be a hero. We need to be building up our immune systems, and rebuilding the economy! Continuing to isolate, living in fear, and ruining the economy at this point is not the answer.

  6. Agree with other commenters.. tyrannical application of state wide mandates for ONE area
    or two of high infection rates is baloney.. If marina’s and golf courses and campgrounds are to open for our short 3 month summer they should be aloud to start now… these are low employee operations that can easily be put out of business by delaying a start up by months..A little common sense goes a long way… too bad we have none in montpeculiar….

    • So where is the “science” to say outdoor workers must be limited to no more than “5”? What are the penalties for disobedience? This could be a big wakeup call as the “big boot” of the Governor steps on our Constitutional freedoms. Listen to what one woman did in California, and ask yourself: what will it take for Vermonters to let their voices be heard?

  7. Well, again the Governor is moving in the right direction for opening the State up,
    baby steps are better than no steps, but I’m confused………….

    I wonder why if two people can work together ” Keeping ” the six-foot social distance
    was “Ok “, and now ten can work within the six-foot parameter, so why can’t twenty
    or forty be allowed to work ??

    I bet if you need a six-foot social distance and a face mask, most working Vermonter’s
    will jump at it, as most jobs this time of year are outdoors and your not any closer than
    the six-foot margin !!

    Get Vermont working, but if you have medical concerns stay in, most Vermonters have
    common sense, something missing under the Golden Dome……………

  8. The Vermont Dept of Health finally released the map today, showing the number of cases per Town. It’s abundantly clear why they delayed it so long – because 90 percent of the State is doing just fine.

    I caught a portion of the Governor’s address this morning, and noticed that the goalposts have been moved. Initially, we were told to stay home in order to not overwhelm medical facilities; that hasn’t (and won’t) happen, so now the reason for not opening up is due to the fear that folks from other States may start coming up. Seriously? Here’s a news flash for the out-of-touch State officials – they’re already here.

    Not a single ‘news organization’ questioned the quite dramatic shift in logic. I did catch the quisling who complained about seeing construction crews with more than the government approved number of workers, not ‘social distancing’ and wondered how that could be rectified. He’s probably the same type of person who writes columns wondering why such a high percentage of citizens in countries under Nazi control collaborated with their oppressors.

    I’m left wondering where the goal will be moved next. Other States, such as Pennsylvania, will be opening outdoor activities (golf courses, marinas, privately owned campgrounds) on 01 May.

    I am through with restrictions on my liberty due to the State adopting a zero tolerance, one-size-fits-all policy when the majority of the State is not threatened.

    What will the next excuse be for not opening up?

Comments are closed.