Abagael Giles

Digital Producer

Abagael is a digital producer at VPR.

Ways to Connect

A group of people stand wearing masks in a courtyard, against a rainy, gray sky.
Abagael Giles / VPR

Vermont has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. But in early April, the vaccination rate for BIPOC – people who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color – lagged 13% behind white Vermonters.

Now, that gap has closed by half. And it appears to be shrinking even further, thanks to clinics across the state, led and designed by leaders who are people of color, with funding and support from the Vermont Department of Health.

Students report tensions on college campuses as pandemic restrictions continue but vaccinations remain weeks away. Plus, summer camps will return, more flights out of Burlington and COVID-19 numbers.

Looking up from the slopes at the lift shack atop Wilderness Lift at Bolton Valley, with snow on the trees and rime on the liftline, and a blue sky.
Abagael Giles / VPR

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Vermont has awarded more than $330 million in public funds to private businesses with the goal of helping them survive forced shutdowns and a slowed economy.

A woman wearing two masks and a face shield holds up a vaccine against a red backdrop
Elodie Reed / VPR File

Updated 11:44 a.m. 3/3/21

In a highly anticipated announcement at today's COVID-19 press briefing, Gov. Phil Scott and members of his administration announced significant updates to the state's vaccination strategy.

Sen. Bernie Sanders holding a microphone
Cheryl Senter / Associated Press File

Another major COVID-19 relief bill is working its way through Congress. The $1.9 trillion package is expected to be voted on by the House next week, and it'll then go to the Senate.

The UVM gymnasium became a medical clinic when the 1918 influenza pandemic, commonly called the "Spanish flu," hit Vermont in the fall of that year.
UVM Silver Special Collections, courtesy

Over a century ago, Vermonters — and the rest of the world — faced another historic pandemic, the 1918 influenza pandemic commonly known as the "Spanish flu." We recently spoke with historians about how Vermont weathered the deadly outbreak of the flu that year, and learned how historical organizations are preserving the digital and physical artifacts of our present-day pandemic. Read highlights from our interview below.

A history of skiing in Vermont. Plus, COVID-19 case numbers, vaccination rollout, and wildlife for your Wednesday.

A man wearing a mask gets a vaccine
Mohamed Abdulahi, Courtesy

Ahead of vaccine rollout, the Vermont Department of Health Department is working with members of various communities as health liaisons to make sure they can figure out how to best address the needs of Vermonters.

A blue vintage boombox with colorful tape cassettes against a wood floor
jakkapan21 / iStock

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... for Vermont Edition's annual music show, that is! Join us at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 23, for two hours of song, story and reflection.

Geese fly in an arc shaped pattern against a gray sky.
Elodie Reed / VPR

When Gov. Phil Scott announced a prohibition on meeting up with anyone outside your household for basically anything other than allowable essential activities like work or school or socially-distant, masked outdoor exercise, it added a deeper level of confusion, concern, sadness and anxiety for many Vermonters.

The view from a gently graded ski slope at Stowe Mountain Resort on a bluebird day.
Abagael Giles / VPR File

This winter season will look different than those past for ski areas and ski towns across Vermont. This hour, we check in with members of Vermont's ski industry about the sector-specific COVID-19 restrictions the state announced last week. We learn about how they plan to change their operations, and hear about the challenges that come with meeting these new regulations.

Taylor Small holds a blue, pink and white campaign sign, wearing a winter coat and mask in the snow
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

On Tuesday, first-time candidate Taylor Small of Winooski won one of two seats in the Vermont House for the Chittenden 6-7 district. Small is a Progressive-Democrat, and though results are still unofficial, she is slated to be the first openly transgender person to serve in the Vermont Legislature.

Gubernatorial candidate Charly Dickerson
Charly Dickerson, courtesy

Charly Dickerson is a retired public administrator and a longtime resident of Montpelier, who is running as an independent candidate for governor.

Ralph Corbo wears sunglasses and holds of a peace sign with his fingers
Screenshot / Vermont PBS

Ralph Corbo is a candidate for lieutenant governor from Wallingford. His name appears on the ballot with the party affiliation “Banish The F-35s.” In the past, he’s worked as a U.S. postal service employee.

a man in a selfie
Michael Devost, Courtesy

Michael Devost is a Newport City-based independent candidate for governor. He works as a housekeeper, and is concerned that the Scott Administration has overstated the dangers of COVID-19.

The Bennington Banner, Courtesy

Kevin Hoyt is a conservative gun rights activist running for governor as an independent candidate in the 2020 general election. He has been a vocal critic of Gov. Phil Scott's efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 by shutting down sectors of Vermont's economy.

A woman smiling
Emily Peyton, Courtesy

Emily Peyton is running for governor as a candidate with the “Truth Matters” party. She believes in the right of citizens to decline vaccines and disputes the Vermont Department of Health’s assertion that 58 people have died of COVID-19 in Vermont since March.

Molly Gray holds a microphone
Molly Gray campaign, Courtesy

The lieutenant governor's race has been one of the closest in Vermont's 2020 election. Amid record-setting early voting, the two major party candidates — Democrat Molly Gray and Republican Scott Milne — are making final appeals to undecided Vermonters. This hour, Vermont Edition continues its series of one-on-one interviews with candidates for top offices continues with Democratic nominee Molly Gray. 

Benjy Renton on the bridge across Otter Creek in downtown Middlebury
Benjy Renton, Courtesy

Eight months ago, VPR interviewed a Middlebury College junior named Benjy Renton, who had just returned from studying abroad in China. He’d been forced to come back to the United States because of an outbreak of a new virus called – you guessed it – COVID-19.

Coronavirus testing site at Champlain Orchards
Julia Doucet / The Open Door Clinic

This week, public health officials announced that 27 employees at Champlain Orchards in Shoreham have tested positive for COVID-19. All are men who traveled to Vermont from Jamaica to work seasonally through the H2A visa program.