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Scott Says Spike In U.S. COVID Cases Won't Change Plan To Reopen Vermont's Economy

Gov. Phil Scott at podium during press conference
Orca Media
Gov. Phil Scott said Monday that while the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in some parts of the country, Vermont's numbers are holding steady and he will continue to slowly reopen the economy.

State officials say the increase in COVID-19 outbreaks around the country has not caused them to slow down Vermont’s strategy to reopen the economy.At his press conference Monday Governor Phil Scott said Vermont’s rate of infection continues to move in the right direction.

“We’ve had two or three outbreaks that we feel as though we have a handle on," Scott said. "So at this point in time, with the low positivity rate, I see no reason to move backwards. I think we’ll continue to move forward."

More from VPR: How Vermont's Multilingual Communities Are Providing Grassroots Translation, Resources For COVID-19

Florida and Texassaw significant jumps in COVID-19 infections after quickly reopening their economies.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine said Vermont’s strategy to slowly open the economy helped the state better control the outbreak.

"We're not showing dramatic expansion, which indicates that initial efforts to contain the virus are successful." - Mark Levine, Health Commissioner

Scott also said his policies of slowly opening the state to more tourists have been working.

He said anecdotal information, as well as the tracking of people coming over our borders, show an increase in tourist traffic.

“I believe that there is still a demand to come to Vermont because of our low positivity rate, and so forth," Scott said. "And so I believe we will be seeing more travelers coming to Vermont."

Last week Scott expanded the area from which people can travel to Vermont without quarantine.

More from VPR: Scott Eases Travel Restrictions In Effort To Boost Summer Tourism

Levine also reported Monday that recent COVID-19 outbreaks  in Winooski, Fair Haven and Windham County seem to be under control.

He said while it was too early to claim complete victory, additional testing has not turned up more cases.

“We’re not showing dramatic expansion, which indicates that initial efforts to contain the virus are successful," Levine said.

Levine said Vermont has been able to flatten the curve of infection even as other parts of the country are seeing dramatic spikes in the number of people with COVID-19.

More from VPR: The State Of Reopening: An Update From Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine

Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public’s southern Vermont reporter, but sometimes the story takes him to other parts of the state.
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