MONTPELIER, Vt. (WFFF) — Saying that Vermont is moving in the wrong direction on the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Phil Scott announced new restrictions on social gatherings Friday. A new order prohibits multi-family gatherings inside and outside.
Scott said he had “no choice” but to impose the strict new guidelines, which go into effect immediately. He said the new order applies “whether at a home, a bar, or in a parking lot after a game.”
“Inside or outside,” he said.
“It’s no coincidence that we’re seeing these increases 12 days after we know many gathered for Halloween parties,” Scott said. “And though we have been warning against these activities for weeks, they’re still happening.”
The new order comes after a week of action to combat the surge in case, which is occurring throughout the U.S. On Wednesday, Scott temporarily suspended Vermont’s travel map and advised anyone visiting the state or residents who return from out of state to quarantine for 14 days.
He also ordered the expansion of surge hospitals that have been largely unused since they were set up in the spring. A 50-bed surge site in Essex Junction will be increased to 150 beds, with 250 additional beds in reserve. A 50-bed field hospital surge hospital in the Rutland area is ready to add 50 additional beds.
According to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, the total number of positive cases now stands at 2,743, with 59 deaths reported. More than 20 people are currently hospitalized for treatment, with three in the intensive care unit.