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The Checkup for Sept. 14: Hospitality limits may be relaxed, Scott says

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

THE NUMBERS

The statistics supplied by the Vermont Department of Health at midday each day are accurate as of the end of the previous day.

On Monday, the Vermont Health Department reported 12 new positive tests over the past day for the virus that causes COVID-19. The cumulative total is now 1,696.

One new case was reported in Bennington County, bringing the cumulative total to 109. Four new cases were reported in Chittenden County, three in Washington County, two in Lamoille County, and one each in Windsor and Grand Isle counties.

No Vermonters died of the disease over the past day. The death toll remains at 58.

One Vermonter is currently hospitalized with the disease.

So far, 151,478 tests have been administered. During the week of Sept. 2-9, 0.4 percent of tests administered were positive.

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The number of Vermonters reported to have recovered from COVID-19 rose by four, to 1,509.

The health department reported that 564 people were being monitored for the disease as of Monday, an increase of four from Sunday. Of these, 522 are visitors to Vermont.

HOSPITALITY LIMITS MAY BE EASED

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If the number of COVID-19 cases continues to remain low at Vermont colleges, universities, and schools, Gov. Phil Scott may announce the easing of some restrictions on the hard-hit hospitality industry this week, he said.

"But again, it all is reliant on the data and the science, making sure that it's safe to do so," he said Friday.

Hotels and other lodging businesses are now limited to half of capacity, and restaurants, arts venues other entertainment establishments are limited to half of capacity for a maximum of 75 customers inside and 150 outside.

State officials have said that revenues at lodging and food and service industries are down about 90% from previous years.

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"We'll be taking a look this week and if everything continues to improve, those are the areas that we'd be looking at," Scott said.

COVID CLOSES MASS. SCHOOL

Days after opening for in-person instruction, Pine Cobble School in Williamstown, Mass., has had to pivot to an all-remote learning program after reporting a positive case of COVID-19.

The school opened Sept. 8 after receiving negative tests for all staff and students — 188 in all, according to the school's website.

But a positive case was reported Friday, causing the school to shift to a remote model for two weeks beginning Monday, according to the website. It was not clear whether the infected person was a student, teacher or staff member.

The school conducted tests of students and faculty on Aug. 29 and 30. Each student was issued a box of masks, and everyone is required to wear masks while in the building. Students had the option of choosing remote learning from home rather than physically attending classes.

Pine Cobble School is a private institution for students in pre-K through ninth grade.


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