Rep. Sibilia March 10 COVID-19 update

Good morning,

Here is additional information regarding the COVID-19 virus.

This morning Governor Scott has opened the state’s emergency operations center. The SEOC opens ahead of, and during, potential and likely emergencies to support prevention, response and recovery efforts.

Yesterday Mike Eldred at the Deerfield Valley News published an article on what has happened in our district.

Sunday March 8, I sent out an email providing information on where you can get updates on what is happening in Vermont and what is happening in the US. This includes links to information on who should be tested, who is at risk, and how to prevent the spread of the disease. You can find that update here.

Monday the Windham Southwest Supervisory Union school districts did not open their schools. A letter from the superintendent about today’s opening after a two hour delay can be found here.

Windham Central Supervisory Union in School districts did open their schools yesterday and will do so again today.

Yesterday the Bennington County Legislative delegation held a phone conference call with the Agency of Human Services and the Department of Health and the states epidemiologist. On the call we learned that Vermont is working with Massachusetts and New York to investigate how this person may have gotten ill. We know that there is a case in Clarksburg, Massachusetts just over the border of Southern Vermont. We do not now if that case is connected to the Southern Vermont case.

Early yesterday morning I reached out to the leadership in the Town of Readsboro to find out if they were being provided information, and to offer assistance. Later on during the day I called to provide an update about what I had learned.

I had been in contact with the governor’s office over the weekend and yesterday with the Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson. My main priority right now is to make sure that my constituents have good information about how to care for themselves. I think there has been room to improve in this regard, and I am saying so. The opening of the state’s emergency operations center this morning will help significantly.

There are both helpful and unhelpful, clarifying and confusing, hopeful and alarming messages being put out on social media and in particular Facebook. My advice is take social media posts with a grain of salt, and if you are worried check out the Vermont Department of Health website.

Here is what I am saying to my own large extended family: Older people (like my mom) and people with respiratory issues or compromised immune systems should stay home; everyone should become a pro at washing your hands and don’t touch other people.

I know folks are worried. We are almost certainly going to see more cases of this virus in Vermont and in the Deerfield Valley. We also have lots of practice taking care of ourselves and each other. Hang in there and when I know more I will share it.

Vermonters with questions can call 211 for more assistance. Vermonters in my district who need added assistance can also contact me at 802-384-0233.

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