Scott admin urges employers to require worker, customer vax

By Guy Page

Blaming the 5% of unvaccinated Vermonters for “70% of hospitalizations and close to 80% of ICU admissions,” the Scott administration sent a Dec. 16 letter to business owners asking them to take aim at unvaccinated workers and customers.

The letter urges (but does not require) stiff vaccination measures. It warns business owners that “should we see an influx of positive test results, it could impact your ability to operate.” It does not specify why.

Vote for Vermont

In a Dec. 16 letter, Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle urges the Vermont business community to impose vaccine or test and mask requirements, impose a vaccine passport for customers, and encourage employees to get vaccinated and boosted.

A spokesperson for Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle clarified today that the 5% unvaccinated are responsible for “70% of hospitalizations and close to 80% of ICU admissions” of Covid-related illnesses only, not all illnesses.

At least one business owner expressed skepticism.

“She is blaming the 5% unvaxxed when we have this surge. The numbers don’t add up, as the more are vax’d the higher the cases go,” the business owner, who wished to remain anonymous, told Vermont Daily Chronicle.

The letter follows a Tuesday, Dec. 14 press conference in which both Gov. Phil Scott and Human Services Secretary Mike Smith expressed impatience with the recalcitrant remnant of the unvaccinated.

Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle urges the “Vermont Business Community” in a Dec. 16 letter to:

Impose “Vaccine or Test & Mask” requirements. “We recommend implementing a policy of asking employees to provide proof of full vaccination (and booster shots when eligible).”

“The advantage to your business is that fully vaccinated employees do not need to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact of someone who is infected. For employees who choose not to be vaccinated, we recommend that you require proof of a negative COVID-19 test once per week (twice weekly if rapid test is used, taken 24 hours apart) and require them to always wear a mask indoors, except when eating and drinking.”

Impose a vaccine passport for customers, especially among hospitality businesses catering to 20-40 year olds.

“Certain public facing businesses should consider proof of vaccination or negative test policies for customers. Keeping in mind that only about 5% of the eligible adult population remains unvaccinated, (many of them in the 20- to 40-year-old age bands), bars, restaurants, social clubs and special event/performance venues should consider asking customers and event attendees over the age 5 to provide proof of full vaccination, or a negative (rapid antigen or PCR) test within 24-hours.”

Encourage employees to get vaccinated and boosted.

Review all workplace safety protocols to mitigate the spread of all infection.

The full text of the letter appears below: 

TO: Vermont Business Community
FROM: Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary
Agency of Commerce and Community Development
DATE: December 16, 2021
RE: COVID-19 Business Guidance for the Road Ahead

Nearly two years ago, as COVID-19 made its way into our State, we asked you, the business community, to suspend all non-essential operations. You stepped up in a big way to adopt new operational protocols, as the State worked to learn more about and respond to this new virus.  No one knew how long this pandemic would go on for, or if federal relief dollars would be made available to help businesses stay afloat and paychecks delivered to employees and their families. Even with all that uncertainty before us, you stepped up.

As a former business owner, I understand what an extraordinary ask that was and how hard the last 20 months have been on everyone – socially, emotionally, and financially.  But you did it. You rose above fear and frustration and acted without knowing when you would open your doors again. Your sacrifices helped suppress COVID-19 and saved the lives of vulnerable neighbors while we worked to safely reopen the economy and get an overwhelming majority of Vermonters vaccinated.  Thank you for all you have done for our state.

With the arrival of another holiday season, we are all still working hard to continue to move forward and toward the collective goal of finally put this pandemic behind us. And we get closer every day.

Even with the tremendous progress we have made, our hospital system is strained from COVID-19 patients, plus higher demand due to care that was deferred in earlier phases of the pandemic, and persistent mental health and substance abuse crises that stretch back to well before the pandemic.  This is why I am reaching out to you today.

This is a time of year spent gathering with loved ones, friends, and co-workers to celebrate. To relieve the extraordinary pressure on our hospitals and healthcare workers, now more than ever we need to be thoughtful and caring in our daily interactions with others.  While there are unknowns, here are some things we are certain about:

The unvaccinated are driving much of the problem with high case counts and hospitalizations.  Just 5% of Vermont adults have not yet received at least one dose of vaccine, but they make up more than 70% of hospitalizations and close to 80% of ICU admissions.

Your employees are likely to gather with family and friends over the next two weeks increasing chances for continued spread of COVID-19, including cases among the workforce and children who only just recently became eligible for vaccination. Should we see an influx of positive test results, it could impact your ability to operate.

Cases among vaccinated people may start to increase, as vaccine efficacy begins to decline around the six-month mark.  This makes boosters a very important tool to keep people protected and reduce the disruption positive cases create.

Vaccine and testing appointments are readily available statewide through a variety of sources and outlets and the supply of rapid antigen tests available to consumers is steadily increasing nationwide.

Given that the next few weeks are likely to be challenging, we have another ask of the business community. In addition to your current COVID-19 mitigation measures, we encourage you to take the following additional steps over the next several months to help keep Vermont moving forward:

Encourage your employees to get vaccinated and boosted.  Vaccines are the best tool for preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations. Encouraging the vaccinated to get their booster shot six months after their initial vaccination is also crucial.  Encourage them to do this as soon as possible.  Finding a vaccine clinic is easy and there are thousands of available timeslots across the state every day.  A few state-run clinics take walk-ins.  You can find the full list and interactive map here:

Review all workplace safety protocols. Please review all protocols for mitigating all workplace injuries and the spread of all infection, including COVID-19, with the goal of reducing hospital visits of all types.  As a community, we need to make an extra effort to reduce demand on the healthcare system.  There are tools available to you through the Department of Labor and VOSHA to help you provide a safe and healthy workplace.

Enhance COVID-19 mitigation with “Vaccine or Test & Mask” Requirements. We recommend implementing a policy of asking employees to provide proof of full vaccination (and booster shots when eligible). The advantage to your business is that fully vaccinated employees do not need to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact of someone who is infected. For employees who choose not to be vaccinated, we recommend that you require proof of a negative COVID-19 test once per week (twice weekly if rapid test is used, taken 24 hours apart) and require them to always wear a mask indoors, except when eating and drinking.  As an employer, the State of Vermont has had great success increasing vaccination and booster rates, as well as mitigating cases and the disruptions from close contact quarantines by implementing a similar policy.

Certain public facing businesses should consider proof of vaccination or negative test policies for customers. Keeping in mind that only about 5% of the eligible adult population remains unvaccinated, (many of them in the 20- to 40-year-old age bands), bars, restaurants, social clubs and special event/performance venues should consider asking customers and event attendees over the age 5 to provide proof of full vaccination, or a negative (rapid antigen or PCR) test within 24-hours.  This policy is already in place at some businesses in Vermont and can substantially increase vaccination rates and reduce community spread of COVID-19.  It also provides customers and employees with greater peace of mind.

We want to continue to be your partner in these efforts.  We are working closely with President Biden’s administration and the National Institute of Health to enhance access to rapid testing resources.  The Agency of Education’s (AOE) “Test to Stay” program is keeping more kids in school even when identified as a close contact and the Governor has directed AOE to expand this program to children who are exposed outside of school so that fewer kids miss days and there is less disruption for households.  And we are collaborating with the Agency of Human Services to develop more pop-up vaccine booster clinics.

In addition, Governor Scott has directed the Agency of Commerce and Community Development to host a webinar to further discuss the above recommendations and give businesses an opportunity to ask officials from the Agency of Human Services, Department of Health, Department of Labor, and Agency of the Administration about implementing ways to reduce COVID-19 disruption, slow the spread, and how you can extend your reach beyond employees to help customers, clients and your communities as we move forward.

The webinar will be held on Monday, December 20th at 3pm to 4pm. For details and a link to the webinar visit the ACCD COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center.

I am sure you, like me, look forward to when COVID-19 is a distant memory. The reality is, as we advance on the path from pandemic to endemic management of this virus, we know that the holiday season and winter weeks ahead are likely to be challenging.  Please join me in redoubling efforts to slow the spread, which will allow all of us to keep our doors wide open and the hospital system from being overwhelmed.

Thank you again for all you do for Vermont and Vermonters.  I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming webinar, meeting or event.

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

Images courtesy of U.S. Secretary of Defense and Vote for Vermont

34 thoughts on “Scott admin urges employers to require worker, customer vax

  1. Is anyone paying attention to all else that is going on in this world as we all obsess over a flu that almost 100% of people recover from?
    Geez, and maybe that is the point huh?
    This is the biggest squirrel the world has ever seen.
    Why can people not see what is really going on here?
    The Unvaxxinated are no threat to other people- they are a threat to the control they are forcing upon the people.
    What is really going on it that we are being forced to participate in their Covid Economy!!
    And people are actually dying from doing so.

  2. I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate.
    I am a supporter of Phil Scott, only because…consider the alternative…Gov. Molly Gray, Gov. Kesha Ram, Gov. Becca Balint… Have I made my point? I hate to see Gov. Scott fall down the same claptrap as our inept Commander in Chief who wants vaccine compliance but does not have the fortitude to have the government itself demand it and uses private sector employers to do his fascist dirtywork. So we have a situation where people lose their jobs and the associated legitimate paycheck for failure to get the jab, but no such demands are placed on those who get a non-entitlement government assistance “paycheck”.
    If Congress, Biden or state Legislatures had any real political courage, they would use the threat of losing one’s welfare, drivers license, hunting/fishing licenses or business licenses to whip people into compliance.
    Another important point is that it is well known that the biggest single demographic of unvaxxed people in the US are African Americans. Why are we not howling from the rooftops about the appalling racism of any demand that someone show proof of vaccination, just like we hear from the left when picture ID to vote is demanded, because that is SUPPOSEDLY racist?

    • They all play for the same team, by their actions. What has Scott done that is any different.

      You’ve been played by the uniparty. Having Scott the leader of the VTGOP keeps us from ever having a pro america team.

      This argument has now been used for decades, which has made us the most subverted state in the union. Some of respect your opinion, but would prefer he be in the other party. He would still win as a democrat.

      But the difference would be the VTGOP would then be able to build, not be divided, be effective. Because he is the leader, the party has no focus, no money, no support. He needs to be an independent or democrat he would still win. We’d only be better for it.

      Our current course only leads to division and a stronger uniparty.

  3. Here’s a wonderful video, maybe our Governor will have a change of heart after viewing……

    or maybe his heart is hardened. The people can be the judge, love these videos.

    We desperately need to be identifying ourselves as Americans…..the division of and infighting needs to stop, because that is only victory for those who wish us harm and want to steal our money.

  4. This memo sets up employers to take responsibility, liability, and enforcement from the State – Alert: incoming hot potato! The Administration is walking a fine line by writing “encouraging employees” which can be interpreted as harrassment if a person has a religious or medical exemption – above all, it is illegal and unconstititutional to require medical treatment that is experimental and not proven effective. As we now see, the front running of saying the unvaccinated are the problem is their way of covering their hind-ends because the “vaccinated” are getting ill and the sudden surge of heart issues is damning evidence of what this shot is really doing to people. The State is doing everything it can to wash the blood off their hands We have not seen the worst of this yet. Employers must not comply as well as employees…it’s a matter of life over an early self-inflicted death.

  5. How quickly we parrot the WHO, carry water for the United nations.

    And what does the VTGOP say??.?.?…

    What does it take to get booted from the VTGOP?

    There are 112,704 people waiting for a response, the none response makes one look very, very, shall we s at UNIPRARTY?

    Way to go Guy! WAY TO GO true North. somebody has courage to ask questions.

  6. We are currently in a ongoing pandemic more severe and which has caused more deaths in the United States than the infamous Spanish flu during WWI.

    Governor Scott is seeking to do all he can to mitigate the spread and impact while at the same time not taking on “Emergency Powers” and ruling by decree, despite the insistance by legislative leaders that he take on these powers.

    Recomending that buinesses require their employees have vaccines or have weekly testing is to have employees do something that, is not that onerous. What is a real hardship is the demands on our health care workers and hospitals who are burdened with the 5% those who choose not to get vaccinated but then are 70% of those who get sick and require the intensive care and elablorate safety procedures to prevent the spread of the disease.

    A modest proposal would be to use some of the Covid relief funds to set up high quality field hospitals specifically for the unvaccinated who get Covid. Ideally they would be treated by health care workers who do not believe in vaccinations. Those who were unvaccinated could have any treatment they wanted and results would be monitored to see the effacacy of treatments. Hospitals would then have room and staff would have the ability to care for more patients with other problems who are now being shortchanged due to the influx of those with Covid.

      • Dano,

        It is hard at times with all the information on the internet to make sense of things.

        Both Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly at a rally in Dallas on Sunday said they not only had been vaccinated but had their booster shots as well. Trump bragged about Operation Warp Speed being a significant accomplishment of his administration and saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

        Fox News has some of the strickest vaccine protocols similar in fact to what Governor Scott is encouraging employers to do.

        Anit-vaccer in chief Robert Kennedy Jr. recently had a holiday party at his house where the invitation encouraged guests to be vaccinated or show they had taken a recent test; just what our Governor is encouraging.

        Sometimes what people actually do is more important than what they say.

          • Dano,
            Perhaps my “stubornness” as you call it is born out of my limited experience at being responsible for the health and welfare of others in my past capacity as a certified water operator, selectboard member and chair, and years of involvement in decisions on whether to close our towns school due to road conditions, and the overall safety of school buildings and grounds.

            It makes me appreciative of the incredibly difficult burden that Governor Scott has carried during this pandemic. As a Water Operator, when one of my system had an issue I did not look for answers on the internet but went to the water experts provided by the state. Likewise, Governor Scott can not be expected to search the internet for guidance on the pandemic, but needs to rely on the highly trained health experts he has working for him.

            I would again urge people to listen to Governor Scott’s weekly press conferences held at noon on Tuesdays and broadcast on Vermont Public Radio. You might find, as I do, a deeply thoughful, decent and modest leader trying his best to do the right thing for the people he serves.

          • To John, Without disclosing my work history, I can match and even beat your safety of others experience. So, you tested water for people’s consumption and when the test failed you called an expert. You were not the expert and neither are those who are not working the front lines actually trying to protect people from injecting an unproven, experimental, biotechnology serum into their veins. You deflect away from studies of real experts in the microbiology, chemistry and medical experts in viral infection. You don’t read anything shown to you and used Trump as your fall guy because he supposedly took the shot and booster.
            He’s 74 years old, no 5 to 11 or a teen. My opinion is that you are hurting more people by continuing to not seek the truth. I am very comfortable in my research knowledge of this experimental drug and the damage it’s doing now and will continue to do in the future by destroying the bodies natural immunity to fight disease. Children are not even at risk from this ailment because the true virus has not been isolated. If it had been, a true vaccine could be developed from the virus strain like other true vaccines. I am not anti-vaccine, I am anti-experimental emergency injection. If the makers and pushers of these drugs are so confident in their product (injection), why do they need immunity from harm?


          To ask to “see your papers” is a slippery slope. The vaccines don’t stop transmission anyhow: what’s the point? To save our hospitals from being overwhelmed? How about instead of firing the people who were last year’s heroes (and thus creating shortages of hospital personnel) and whom we were supposedly eternally grateful for (although this year they can jump in a lake) we let them do their jobs and honor their reasons for refusing the vaccines?

          • Jim,

            Perhaps you did not read my comment where I advocated for establishing high quality field hospitals to treat the unvaccinated, staffed if possible by those hospital personnel who lost their jobs due to their unwillingness to get vaccinated.
            I also advocated for patients in thes hospitals being able to access any treatment they desire.

            I do not expect everybody to agree on vaccines and the pandemic and am looking for ways those who choose to be unvaccinated to find the treatments they might desire in a way that does not put an undo burden, due to their choice on being unvaccinated and then getting sick, on our existing hospital system

          • John, I in fact did read that comment. Do you honestly believe they want to give anything at all to the unclean unvaccinated? Any special treatment? Any common-sense measure such as you propose? I agree with you but I disagree completely that this reasonable solution will ever see the light of day. The goal is oppression, not cooperation and not tolerance, although I’d be happy for someone to prove me wrong.

            If this administration would advocate for safe and effective early treatment for Covid-19 that didn’t rely on vaccination– although completely compatible with vaccination– we could get out of this mess. That would truly allow for everyone to “do their part” even if they disagreed with the experimental vaccines that don’t seem to be doing a very good job at all of getting us back to normal, despite promises implied and even stated. All of these drugs and treatments are remarkably safe– what do we have to lose?

            Hospitals everyone are refusing to treat with safe and effective drugs such as ivermectin and fluvoxamine. All the more astonishing when one considers that ivermectin is remarkably safe and has been used by billions of people worldwide. Why are they doing this? So no, I don’t think anyone would allow alternative treatments in any field hospitals. If they did, then people would start to see for themselves that these treatments work and this is not what Dr. Fauci and his allies want.

          • Jim,
            I appreciate and understand your desire for freedom of choice and willingness to do the hard work and accept the responsibility and consequences for good and bad of your actions. It is something I hope that others will always allow for myself.

            Whether anyone in power be interested in developing high quality field hospitals where unvaccinated who get Covid can get the treatments they want, is indeed unlikely. However, I am always looking for creative ways to allow people the ability to live their convictions in a way that does not impose on others and felt worth putting out there for consideration.

    • “We are currently in a ongoing pandemic more severe and which has caused more deaths in the United States than the infamous Spanish flu during WWI.”

      I doubt it.

      I can’t put my finger on this right now, but there was an account in Montpelier during the Spanish flu when people were dying all over town, including children. Nothing like that is happening now; I personally know no one, not one single person, who has died of Covid. So we may be told that there’s a huge epidemic out there but as Dr. Risch points out, the real epidemic is one of fear: Covid itself kills few, and these few are overwhelmingly elderly and frail, but the fear is infecting everyone.

      The answer was focused protection and safe drugs but the medical authorities deliberately pooh-poohed focused protection and deliberately sold that as a “let it rip” policy. I heard this from someone who works at the NIH, who you’d think would be smarter than to let a sound-bite substitute for understanding. But this let-‘er-rip policy of letting society function while focusing protection on the most vulnerable made sense because those most vulnerable weren’t in the workforce, anyhow. Fauci and company– Gates, Schwab, and other nasty people who seem to have no sense of decency and want power and control– aimed to destroyed livelihoods and make us all subservient to the experts who are selling us snake oil.

      Governor Scott listens to Dr. Levine, as would be expected. This is perfectly legitimate. Dr. Levine listens to Fauci, as would also be appropriate in a world of scientific integrity. But Fauci is a fraudster of the worst kind, and that’s why even though RFK,Jr’s book is an absolutely massive attack on his character and integrity, Fauci won’t dare sue him and face him in court. Then the light of truth would come out, and Fauci is a man who prefers darkness.

      Vermont, it’s high time to stop listening to this charlatan, and to the corrupt system that he’s been enabling.

  7. Since when is an ‘accountant’ qualified to make medical judgments for an entire population? Where is the data?

    If Ms. Kurrle will accept responsibility for any harm or damage that occurs as a result of her judgment, she should make that case. But given that the pharmaceutical companies, the CDC, and the NIH won’t accept that responsibility, is it reasonable to expect Ms. Kurrle to do so? Of course not.

    After all, if just one person in Vermont remains unvaccinated, under this logic, that person will be responsible for everyone’s demise. And when no one is left unvaccinated, and cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue, Ms. Kurrle will blame out-of-State visitors. And, finally, when everyone is vaccinated, and no one is allowed to leave or enter Vermont, and cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue, the definition of being vaccinated will change to include ever more shots and the round robin will begin yet again, assuring that the pharmaceutical companies make more and more money.

    That cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue is not the end game. It’s all about the money. It always has been. And as an ‘accountant’, Ms. Kurrle understands this and will continue to take her cut in this sham.

    • “Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle clarified today that the 5% unvaccinated are responsible for “70% of hospitalizations and close to 80% of ICU admissions” of Covid-related illnesses.”
      Maybe these complete idiots should be more careful with their “irritation”
      and words like “taking aim” under these circumstances……..It is frankly impossible for the Gov and this “Develpment” Sec’y to be as stupid as this…….honestly, it’s impossible.

      So that leaves: LYING OR BOUGHT by Pharma interests.

      So…….readers? Let’s begin to “take aim” at our obvious reality here.

    • As long as our border is wide open, allowing thousands of unvaccinated, unvetted and untested people through every day – I will continue to do exactly as I’ve done for the past two years (when the liars told us only two weeks ‘to flatten the curve’).
      I will not comply – ever – and I don’t take advice from politicians or sheep.

  8. It is amazing how gullible people can be, even when logic and common sense dictate that the whole vax debacle is total Bravo Sierra. More of a bad thing doesn’t make it better and to continue on a path of action that is obviously not effective is pure insanity. Wake up, folks! We’re circling the drain here.

  9. Scott’s unwavering, blind trust for whatever the official narrative is has become stale. One might suspect that the good Governor has abandoned thinking for himself. Which leads to the motive of money. Certainly not for his personal benefit, but the influx of federal dollars to Vermont’s coffers has changed the already bloated Vermont state government. The Medical Industry and Vermont government is paid “piece work” rates for everything Covid, from tests to positive cases and deaths.
    There is incentive to collect for testing and case, instituting “programs” of dubious effect. There is no financial incentive to pursue any mitigation of SARS-CoV-2, hence treatment options are limited. Vermont’s subservience to the federal dogma certainly warrants question and investigation, especially when considering Vermont’s case counts and “vax” rates.
    An outlandish accusation? Perhaps. Please prove me wrong. I’ll wait.

  10. Once again I will post the truth as expressed by Dr. Risch: the crux of the problem with Covid-19 is that safe and effective early treatment was deliberately sabotaged. How hard is it to figure out that what we want to do is keep people– all people, including people who for whatever reason are hesitant to take experimental vaccines– from going to the hospital in the first place?

    Dr. Fauci is an expert at promoting dangerous pharmaceutical products and demonizing safe, effective and inexpensive treatments. He built his career on that during the AIDS crisis when he pushed AZT and other extremely dangerous drugs. Big $$$ for his pharma friends, who cares if they killed people? This is the man leading us, the man our Governor trusts, the man who is likely a psychopath unable to feel compassion for his fellow beings. That’s why he’s OK with gruesome torture of beagles.

    How are the vaccines working? Funny, I thought we’d all be free once we got the vaccines: they’d create the necessary herd immunity to keep Covid from spreading. Only they didn’t and here we are with the “show me your papers” mentality. Because, you see, the vaccines don’t stop the spread of Covid-19 so we have to be sure everyone has been injected with vaccines that don’t stop the spread so we can stop the spread.

    We have the answer to stopping Covid-19 that every single Vermont citizen can get on board with because these remedies work, are safe, and are cheap. That’s why Dr. Fauci doesn’t want them. He built his career on crushing safe, cheap treatments so his pharma buddies could make the big bucks. He’s doing it again and all the Governor and Dr. Levine can do is fawn over him and praise his vast wisdom.

  11. You would think someone in Mountstupid would have the brains to figure out that if the unvaccinated are infecting the vaccinated, then its clear the vaccines do not work and get everyone off the soapbox.

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