Towns in our Valley took a gigantic step forward into the future today by creating a Communications Union District. What is truly remarkable is that because of the emergency order against in person gatherings, the group did it virtually, finalizing actions taken at their respective town meetings or by their selectboards. I was on mute so they couldn’t hear me cheering!!
A few updates and a reminder about several events that are happening tomorrow that you may want to attend.
First is a Coffee with Laura call at 7 am. You can join that call by joining my Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 734 376 857 Password: 003089 or by calling mobile
+16465588656,,734376857# US (New York)
+13126266799,,734376857# US (Chicago)
Second is a press conference at 11 am with Governor Scott. Most Vermont TV and radio stations live broadcast the briefings. Though Vermont is seeing success in slowing the spread of the virus, we can not stop the work we are doing to further isolate and manage this virus. The Governor is expected to announce an extension of the Executive Orders tomorrow. It is hard to imagine that extension not going into May. Deep breaths friends – we will get through this together and it will end.
The Governor’s media briefing will be available to stream through ORCA Media’s youtube channel, linked here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-xsDpLCa0iRMj4dQrqum7uoXaQmqeGvT
Businesses are invited to join BDCC for this week’s Resiliency Webinar tomorrow (Friday April 10) at 2:15. Please send questions in advance by emailing email@example.com Direct link: https://zoom.us/j/781064798
Finally, given the large backlog of unemployment claims, tomorrow the Legislature’s Joint House and Senate Rules Committee will hear from Commissioner Harrington of the Dept of Labor at 4 pm regarding the steps being taken to address the tremendous backlog of Unemployment Insurance claims – link to the YouTube channel here–
The Vermont Department of Health has come out with new guidance recommending face covering when leaving your home. Many groups are making masks and in Dover you can pick up a free mask at the Town Offices. I made my first trip out to Shaw’s today for paper towels and wore a mask. Yes, quite surreal.
Given the unknown time frame for getting the virus under control, and planning for cases to possibly increase in the fall and winter, discussions about protecting our democracy and our November vote have begun in earnest. Voting in a national election is not changed on a state by state basis and it is not changed in the middle of an outbreak. Some have proposed expanding voting by mail efforts to protect voters and ensure all who want to vote do not have to risk their health to do so. Here is a policy paper from the Bipartisan Policy Center on the difference between absentee voting and voting by mail.
Bookmark for updates:
Vermont Department of Health 2019 Novel Coronavirus Current Status in Vermont Webpage for updates.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Disease page
World Health Organization Coronavirus Disease 2019
Vermont has received a federal disaster declaration DR5342 which opens up federal disaster funds to assist State agencies, municipalities and critical private non-profits in Emergency response costs related to COVID-19.
The declaration will provide 75% federal funds to qualified applicants for emergency protective measures including; Emergency Operations Center operations, medical sheltering, medical supplies, provisions of food/water/ice/medicine, security and law enforcement for temporary facilities, and communications of general health and safety information to public.
COVID-19 FEMA PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FACTS https://vem.vermont.gov/covid19/disaster/faq
Deer and Moose Electronic Hearings
In place of the previously scheduled in-person meetings, the department is holding electronic public hearings to solicit input on deer and moose on the following dates from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. through the following means:
Monday, April 13, 2020 – Through computer: zoom.us/j/787469027, AND conference call: 929-436-2866, meeting ID: 787-469-027
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 – Through computer: zoom.us/j/512423816, AND conference call: 929-436-2866 , meeting ID: 512-423-816
Thursday, April 16, 2020 – Through computer: zoom.us/j/781441147, AND conference call: 929-436-2866, meeting ID: 781-441-147
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Laura Sibilia
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham