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Chittenden County Towns to Decide Whether to Establish Mask Mandates

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A vending machine off Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace sells masks and hand sanitizer. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

Now that they have the go-ahead to consider an indoor mask mandate, Chittenden County communities have begun discussing what they want to do. 

Seven of the 18 cities and towns plan to discuss the often contentious topic over this week. Two municipalities, Burlington and Hinesburg, have already reached conclusions — with Burlington for and Hinesburg against.

This week, Bolton, Charlotte, the town of Essex, Shelburne, Richmond, South Burlington and Winooski are all slated to decide whether to institute a mandate. 

At least four communities — Westford, Underhill, Huntington and Milton — don’t plan to broach the subject at all right now. 

Last week, Burlington became the first municipality in the state’s most populous county to enact an indoor mask mandate. City councilors voted unanimously Wednesday to instruct businesses to require employees and patrons to prove they are vaccinated against Covid-19 or mask up when the virus spread is high or substantial

The city’s masking ordinance excludes places of worship and, if all patrons are vaccinated, restaurants, convenience stores and gyms, leaving retail stores as one of the main targets of the mandate. 

Hinesburg decided on the same day against instituting a mask mandate, after selectboard members spent the day speaking with business owners who said that most people who came inside were masked and respectful and that they weren’t interested in enforcing a mandate.

These discussions follow the passage of a bill signed into law last month by Gov. Phil Scott, allowing municipalities to institute temporary mask mandates as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the state. Scott had resisted calls to implement a statewide directive but said he offered “an olive branch” to the Legislature, allowing it to decide whether to let towns make their own call. The new law expires April 30, 2022. 

[Looking for data on breakthrough cases? See our reporting on the latest available statistics.]

Hinesburg Selectboard member Phil Pouech said he was frustrated that towns are having this conversation when masking should be decided at a state level. 

“I’m a bit angry at the governor and the Legislature for throwing this at us,” Pouech said. He thinks having a patchwork of mandates across the state will cause more confusion and anger and minimize effectiveness.

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Read the story on VTDigger here: Chittenden County towns to decide whether to establish mask mandates.

Source: vtdigger.org

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Women’s Basketball: No. 12 Maryland Overpowers Northwestern in College Park

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A 56-second, 2-0 lead was fleeting for Northwestern: it was quickly erased as Maryland’s Katie Benzan nailed both her first 3-pointer of the game and the coffin shut early in the first quarter. The Wildcats (11-7, 3-4 Big Ten) fell to the No. 12 Terrapins (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) Sunday afternoon 87-59. Both teams came…

The post Women’s Basketball: No. 12 Maryland overpowers Northwestern in College Park appeared first on The Daily Northwestern.

Source: dailynorthwestern.com

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Jeen-Yuhs: a Kanye Trilogy Shows the Hazards of Being Too Close to Your Documentary Subject

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Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy Shows the Hazards of Being Too Close to Your Documentary Subject

Article: pastemagazine.com

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Call of the Wilde: Montreal Canadiens Fall to Colorado Avalanche in Overtime

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The Canadiens are figuring some things out, so when they stay in a game against the second best team in the league, it’s more appropriate to ease up on the criticism.

Source: globalnews.ca

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