Vermont Coronavirus Updates For Saturday, March 21
Vermont reporters provide a quick round-up of ongoing local coverage of coronavirus for Saturday, March 21.
Sixteen additional COVID-19 cases announced
The number of identified COVID-19 infections in Vermont jumped to 49 on Saturday – the largest single day increase since the first Vermont case was identified nearly two weeks ago.
Franklin county sees first cases of COVID-19
Franklin County has its first two cases of COVID-19. Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans announced Saturday that two people tested by the hospital had the disease. The hospital said the state's health department had confirmed the positive results.
The hospital did not release any additional information about the patients or their condition, but said in a press release it had turned a decommissioned care unit into a dedicated space for COVID-19 patients, and had already begun admissions.
The hospital also noted those with COVID-19 who don’t require hospital care will be directed to self-quarantine at home.
Gyms and salons must close
Gov. Phil Scott added new restrictions Saturday to businesses and group gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning Monday night at 8 p.m., all gyms, spas, tattoo parlors and hair and nail salons must close. The order also bans non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people. Read the full story.
Herald and Times Argus face cutbacks
The publisher of the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus has announced temporary layoffs and reduced circulation due to advertising losses.
In an email, publisher Steven Pappas said 20 staff members have been laid off "for a two-week period across all corners of the paper: production, news, advertising and customer service and circulation." He said he hopes to bring those employees back after concerns over coronavirus have abated. Read the full story.