News Roundup: State Officials Report 93 New COVID Infections

Apr 19, 2021

Vermont reporters provide a roundup of top news takeaways about the coronavirus and more for Monday, April 19.

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The latest coronavirus data:

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1. State officials report 93 new COVID infections

Vermont health officials counted 93 new COVID-19 infections statewide Monday.

That's after a weekend of more than 200 new cases, which put the state's pandemic total to more than 22,000 infections.

Of the most recent cases, 21 were in Chittenden County. Elsewhere, only Addison and Bennington counties had 10 or more cases.

There are now 28 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, including five people in intensive care.

- Matthew Smith

All Vermonters now eligible for vaccine appointments

Any Vermont resident 16 and older can now sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine. The state opened appointments up to all adults Monday at 6 a.m.

The 16- to 29-year-olds are the final group to become eligible for the shot. There are about 96,000 unvaccinated Vermonters in that age band, according to state modeling.

Gov. Phil Scott on Friday urged all eligible Vermonters to book an appointment.

“So please sign up for your shot,” he said. “There’s no excuse not to at this point.”

Appointments can be made online, or by calling 855-722-7878. More than half of eligible adults in Vermont have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

- Liam Elder-Connors

2. Experts predict Vermont will be a destination for climate migration

Climate change is causing sea levels on the east coast to rise. And rising waters may force people to move inland — to places like Vermont.

Experts predict Vermont will see a climate-caused migration, but how many move here, and when, is unknown.

Chris Koliba is a UVM professor of community development and applied economics. He's been looking at the issue, and says lessons can be drawn from the COVID pandemic that triggered a Vermont real estate boom.

Koliba says the pandemic was a stress test for the state that revealed ongoing challenges, including infrastructure needs, to accommodate additional growth.

“And how we evolve and learn from the pandemic will help set a footing for what will likely be coming for climate change, as we’re looking at sea level rise and population displacements, or the equatorial regions becoming uninhabitable,” he said.

Vermont needs to work on its social as well as its physical infrastructure, Koliba says, in order to be more welcoming to people from other cultures and societies.

Read/hear the full story.

- John Dillon

3. Lake Champlain ferry route temporarily suspended due to low numbers of tourists

One of the ferry routes across Lake Champlain between Vermont and New York has temporarily suspended operations.

The Lake Champlain Transportation Company notes the Burlington Crossing that connects Vermont's Queen City to Port Kent, New York is “on hold for the moment."

The temporary closure will remain in place as the company "awaits the return of tourists to our area."

The company's ferries running between Grand Isle and Plattsburgh, and from Charlotte to Essex, New York, continue to operate as scheduled.

- Matthew Smith

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