Covid 19

Update #82: Calling for your help to bring Covid-19 case growth back down

November 21, 2020


We are finishing up a week with the highest number of new Covid-19 infections across the country and the State since this pandemic began. That’s true here in Burlington too.

We are in a critical period – one of the hardest periods of the pandemic, when we are all tired of tough restrictions and when the good weather of summer is a memory. At the same time, what we know about this virus is that our actions can change this trajectory. The actions that we take today will determine how many of our loved ones and neighbors will be infected with Covid-19 two weeks from now. Burlingtonians have changed the trajectory before, and, after two weeks in which four more Vermonters have died of this virus, we are painfully reminded of what is at stake.

Now, more than ever, we all have to follow the Governor’s emergency orders. The most important thing, contact tracing data shows, is for everyone to limit our contacts with other households. While Governor Scott clarified yesterday that outdoor recreation like taking a walk with one other friend is permissible as long as you are wearing face coverings and maintaining distance, we need to stop all other social gatherings for the time being.

This includes the Thanksgiving holiday next week. I know that this will be hard for many of us, but the alternative is worse. Thanksgiving dinners that look anything like they usually do could lead to tragedy and, at best, expose our loved ones to greater risks. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I’ll badly miss being together with my parents, siblings, and nephew next Thursday – but it’s what we have to do to keep the virus from spreading even more, and to keep vulnerable older adults safe.

We’re still at a moment when we can bring this new case growth back under control. And while the new test positives are alarming, each new positive test gives the Department of Health additional data to trace and contain the virus. We’ve been working hard to supplement the State’s testing capacity, and thousands of tests have been conducted in the Burlington area over the last two weeks, which have in turn helped us identify and contain positive cases of Covid-19. It’s clear that we’re going to need to continue this increased testing, and I’ll have more to say next week about continued testing opportunities.

We’ve brought our case numbers down before, and we can do it again. Thanks to our community’s work over the last eight months, we are now entering the most dangerous part of the pandemic from a much more solid foundation and lower case total than just about any community our size in the country. I know that can change quickly, and I am so grateful to see so many in our community looking out for each other, practicing vigilance, and following the State’s public health orders. Thank you – and we’ll continue to get through this together.



PS – There are still some spots available for free Covid-19 testing this morning! Testing is 9am-noon at the Old North End Community Center (20 Allen Street). Please consider getting tested and help spread the word. Register here:

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