Telegraph Pandemic Digest for April 10

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Between press conferences, daily updates, press releases and other advisories, covering the Covid-19 pandemic can be daunting for a small staff. To keep you informed without going down a rabbit hole with every story, we’ll offer you a news digest of information that doesn’t make it into regular news articles. There are a variety of topics with links for web pages and documents you can follow if you need more information. We will continue to cover our communities in the best way we can but we would like to hear what you think of the idea of this digest and whether it fits your needs. Thanks for reading The Chester Telegraph.

Feds OK Vermont request
for disaster funds

President Donald Trump has approved Gov. Phil Scott’s request for federal disaster funds to assist the state of Vermont in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds can reimburse up to 75 percent of the costs incurred by the state and towns in the response to and recovery from the pandemic.

“These funds are critical to the state as we continue to respond to, and work to recover from, this pandemic,” Scott said in a press release. “I appreciate our federal partners and President Trump’s quick response and release of these public assistance funds.”

Suicide spike flattens

On Monday, Secretary of the Department of Public Safety Michael Schirling told a press conference that he had been informed of a spike in suicides from reports by the Vermont State Police. Asked to quantify that, Schirling told The Telegraph that the concern came from a spike of three or four suicides that had happened over a weekend. Looking back in the data, though, the department found that between March 1 and April 6 of last year there were eight suicides while in the same period this year there were nine.

“That weekend gave us concern that there might be a trend,” said Schirling. “We will continue to monitor weekly now. Also, the Department of Mental Health, in collaboration with Public Safety, is enhancing efforts around prevention and messaging and encouraging all Vermonters to connect virtually with everyone in their family, friend and neighbor networks to check in on them during this difficult time.”

Supreme Court extends judicial emergency to May 31

Vermont Supreme Court Thursday extended the judicial emergency to remain in effect until May 31, 2020. The amendment removes language that had a different suspension period. The suspension of jury draws and jury trials is will continue until May 31.

You can read the full order, updates and an additional explanatory note explains the reasoning for taking these measures here.

USDA moves to help rural communities, businesses

USDA Rural Development, under the CARES Act, has taken a number of actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, including business and personal loans, tenant and landlord help and incentives for telemedicine and distance learning.

Read the full announcement to learn more about the opportunities USDA Rural Development is implementing to provide immediate relief to customers, partners and stakeholders.

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