News summary: Vermont Department of Health reports 224 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

Vermont Reporters are providing a summary of key takeaways about the coronavirus and more for Friday, October 22.

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While Vermont’s pandemic state of emergency has ended, the delta variant is now circulating in the state. Click here for the latest case news, and find the latest vaccination data online at any time.

1. Vermont Department of Health Reports 224 New Cases of COVID-19

There are 224 new COVID-19 infections in Vermont on Friday, the health department reported, as the positivity rate over the past week fell to 2.9%.

The number of people hospitalized because of the coronavirus has risen to 47. Ten people are in intensive care.

The overall vaccination rate of eligible Vermonters with at least one dose of a vaccine is just over 89%, but younger Vermonters still lag behind that figure.

Just over 63% of Vermonters between the ages of 18 and 29 received their first dose of the vaccine.

Matthew Smith

State to review school attendance exemptions on a case-by-case basis due to COVID-19

For the third year in a row, the Vermont Secretary of Education has been authorized to grant attendance waivers to schools that are due to close due to COVID-19.

Under existing education law, schools in Vermont must be open for at least 175 days, and it is up to the State Board of Education to consider waivers when schools are required to close.

The law also says a majority of students must be in the classroom for days to count, but the coronavirus has taken its toll on attendance.

As the Delta variant spreads, schools have been forced to move away and in some cases classrooms are closing while the rest of the school remains open.

At its meeting this week, the State Board of Education said Education Secretary Dan French could once again make decisions on granting exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

Howard Weiss Tisman

2. Struggling with a utility bill? You can apply for state aid until Sunday

Residents of Vermont who are struggling to pay their past utility bills due to the pandemic have until Sunday to apply for a state program designed to help.

Electricity, water, sewer, natural gas and landline bills dated after April 1, 2020 are eligible.

Steve Costello of Green Mountain Power says about 19,000 of their customers are at least 60 days late.

“We are dealing with people who have never been late before – their whole life has been turned upside down by COVID,” he said.

He encourages them to take advantage of the program, which is open to residential and commercial customers.

“You know: the mom and pop store, the farm down the road. And you know, just about any Vermont-based business could potentially benefit from that help,” Costello said. “And for residential accounts, they can get up to $ 10,000 in help for business accounts that are $ 50,000 in number. So it’s not small dollars. There is a lot of help available and it is essential that people apply quickly. “

You can apply online for Vermont COVID-19 Arrears Assistance Program.

Nina Keck

3. Vermont Principal’s Association Releases New Guidelines Regarding Harassment At Sporting Events

The Vermont Principal’s Association on Tuesday released new guidelines for dealing with harassment at school sporting events.

It comes after several high profile incidents this fall.

The APV, which governs high school sports, has set up an online portal, where people can report cases of harassment, and is working to provide a third-party option to investigate incidents.

The association is also asking that a statement be read at the start of all school sponsored events.

The statement describes the behavioral expectations, as well as the possible consequences of the violation.

In September, a high school football game between Winooski and Enosburg Falls drew attention following allegations of racist abuse.

Only one of the subsequent surveys conducted by school districts corroborated these reports, according to VTDigger. During this time, Seven days reports that a Winooski player faces possible criminal charges for allegedly head butting another player during the game.

Anna van dine

4. Dartmouth College raises over $ 3 billion in fundraising campaign

Dartmouth College achieved a rare distinction this week.

It is one of a few dozen higher education institutions to have raised more than $ 3 billion as part of a fundraising campaign.

Dartmouth College has surpassed a record $ 3 billion in donations since launching its fundraising campaign three years ago.

By comparison, that’s almost half of the Vermont state budget last year.

And well above the University of Vermont’s recent $ 580 million campaign.

Dartmouth says it is using the funding to position itself as a leading research university, support faculty, modernize campus facilities, and expand financial aid.

The news follows an announcement earlier this month that the Dartmouth endowment will no longer be directly invested in fossil fuel companies.

The college’s last fundraising campaign raised $ 1.3 billion and ended in 2010.

Lexi krupp

Abagael Giles compiled and edited this article.

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