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The Checkup: 2 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Vermont

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With this regular feature, the Banner runs down breaking local and regional developments in the coronavirus crisis.

The numbers

According to the Vermont Department of Health, two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Vermont over the past day, raising the total at 952. Sixty of the 952 cases are in Bennington County.

No Vermonters died of the disease over the previous day. The total number of deaths remains at 54.

So far, 25,733 tests have been administered. Thirty-six people are being monitored, and 870 have completed monitoring, the state reported. The health department said 834 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of seven from Thursday.

More COVID-19 pop-up test sites open

The Health Department is opening nearly two dozen additional pop-up sites to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 for the virus.

The specimen collection sites are located throughout the state. Among them are a site in Manchester on May 27, and in Bennington on June 1. Find the full list of locations and make an appointment to be tested at humanresources.vermont.gov/popups, or by calling 2-1-1 or 802-828-2828. All clinics operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Health care workers, first responders, child care providers, and people returning to Vermont – such as college students, people who winter out of state and second home owners – are especially encouraged to consider being tested.

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Vermont's unemployment rate rises to 15.6% in April

According to household data, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for April was 15.6 percent, the Vermont Department of Labor announced Friday. This is five times higher than the prior month's estimate of 3.1 percent.

"As anticipated, the monthly numbers show the tremendous economic impact of COVID-19," said Michael Harrington, the state's interim labor commissioner. "We are seeing an unprecedented level of economic disruption in our state, nation, and around the world."

More information is available at labor.vermont.gov.

Benefits extended for jobless Vermonters

An additional 13 weeks of benefits are available to individuals who have exhausted their regular state unemployment insurance claim with a benefit year that expired on or after July 1, 2019.

The additional weeks of benefits are provided by the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. Individuals will also receive Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an additional $600 to their weekly benefits through the week ending July 25, 2020.

PEUC is for individuals who have exhausted 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance benefits or had their benefit year expire without requalifying for a new benefit year. Individuals must remain able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work within the temporary flexibilities approved by the Department of Labor.

PEUC, FPUC, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits are 100 percent federally funded and employers will not be charged for any benefits paid under a CARES Act program. Individuals may file for PEUC in the same manner of filing for regular unemployment insurance benefits.

Visit the department's website for more detailed instructions, at https://labor.vermont.gov/PEUC.


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