By Guy Page
Vermont Daily mentioned to Gov. Scott at his Aug. 11 press conference the small crowds at Barre-area restaurants and then asked, “Since most of the Covid-19 deaths are in Chittenden County, and most of the returning students are coming back to Chittenden County, and the interstate maps are already registered by county, how about a two-tiered system with stricter regs for CC and less elsewhere?”
Gov. Scott’s answer on Tuesday focused more on restaurants and less on any two-tiered system. But Friday he dropped the other shoe. Municipalities may now enact Covid-19 transmission restrictions tougher than the state’s. This is the governor’s two-tiered system. State restrictions will stay in force statewide. However, towns and municipalities are welcome to put the public health “control” in local control.
How long will the state of emergency last?
Most reporters have stopped asking. Perhaps it’s a matter of “question fatigue,” because the response is usually a restatement of variables (most outside of Vermont’s control) that boils down to an answer something like, “as long as necessary.” However in recent weeks Gov. Scott has alluded to the availability of an effective vaccine as the likely event that will restore Vermont to pre-pandemic normalcy. He hasn’t come right out and said, “the state of emergency will continue until Vermonters are vaccinated,” but he has made statements to the effect that Vermonters will just have to hold on and work together until a vaccine or some other definitive pandemic-ending event occurs.
Clearly Vermont’s success at controlling transmission will never suffice alone for Scott to call off the SOE, as long as other states are still struggling. The other nearby states problem is frequently mentioned by Gov. Scott and his Health Dept. Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.
Klar won’t run as independent, will focus on GOP wins in Legislature
Republican John Klar, soundly defeated in the Aug. 11 GOP gubernatorial primary by Scott, will not run as an independent, he announced in a statement Friday. However he will help the campaigns of Republican legislative nominees, especially the many affiliated with his campaign.
Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.