Here you'll find our collection of reports on the coronavirus outbreak and local response, from January, February and March. Our most recent coverage is at https://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/recent-coronavirus-coverage/collection_c56580a8-7f7c-11ea-b0cd-732a2e7b3384.html
With the New Hampshire statehouse in Concord closed because of COVID-19 and no one knowing exactly when it will reopen, North Country lawmakers are adapting to a new way of advancing statehouse business.
As the coronavirus shutdown continues, some local animal rescues are concerned that the number of dog and cat surrenders could rise if out-of-work people can’t afford to feed and care for them, canceled spay-neuter clinics could cause a spike in unwanted kittens, and donations to shelters could dry up.
LANCASTER, N.H. — Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster, like every other small rural hospital in the North Country of New Hampshire and the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont, is preparing for the surge of patients sickened by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Passumpsic Bank, NEK Council on Aging, and NVRH have come together to help feed people in the community by providing non-perishable food items for “emergency bags.” The bags will be delivered by NEK Council on Aging volunteers. Pictured with all the boxes of food are Laura Valcour, director of Nutrition at NEK Council on Aging and Kevin Crawley, NVRH director of Nutrition and Food Service.
Hospitals across the Northeast Kingdom and the North Country of New Hampshire continue to receive donations of personal protective equipment — known as PPEs — from businesses, organizations and individuals in reaction to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Vermont officials announced 21 new COVID-19 cases Monday, including a new potential hot spot in Essex Junction, as they unveiled increased efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
DERBY LINE, Vt./STANSTEAD, Quebec — The Quebec government posted provincial police along the Quebec side of the U.S./Canadian border beginning Saturday morning as part of the response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, almost a year to the day after reporting for duty as a U.S. Coast Guard fireman, Skylar Boutin participated in one of the nation’s most vital humanitarian missions in recent memory — escorting the Navy Hospital ship USNS Comfort to dock in New York City.
LYNDON — An email sent out Thursday by the owner of a farmhouse inn/spa property on 10 acres advertising the property was for rent, under the header, “Escape the city!” said her email message was “insensitively worded,” but said COVID-19 is already here, and the sparse population in the Northeast Kingdom can offer space and the ability for people to social distance.
LITTLETON — The New Hampshire Army National Guard is working with Littleton Regional Healthcare to set up a surge, or flex, site on the LRH campus in the event there is a surge in North Country COVID-19 cases that require medical treatment.
New Hampshire officials say there have been “very few” mandatory isolation and quarantine orders issued in the granite state.
ST. JOHNSBURY — No one ever wants to have crisis be the instigator of goodwill.
With many parents/employees working remotely, and trying to juggle helping their kids learn at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the role of grandparents and their help has taken on urgent new meaning.
LITTLETON, NH — Littleton Regional Healthcare, in keeping with its mission of meeting the healthcare needs of the region since 1907, has been preparing to serve the region during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
MONTPELIER — The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has announced sector-specific guidance related to Gov. Phil Scott’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order. The guidance is intended to help Vermont businesses determine if some or all of their in-person business operations fall under the exemptions for those entities critical to public health and safety or economic and national security. For businesses who are not exempt, but can transition operations remotely with no in-person contact, can continue to operate under this order.
LISBON — Since learning went virtual forcing students and teachers to interact over devices instead of in-person, the newspaper has been checking in with instructors and pupils across the region to see how it’s going: from Lisbon Regional School, high schooler Peyton Clark and her English teacher Carlene Gadpaee offered to share with readers.
North Country Hospital nurses scrub and clean personal protection equipment in preparation for the next patient to be tested at the mobile testing site at the hospital in Newport City. Only those who have an appointment arranged for testing by a primary care doctor or the hospital and approved by the Vermont Department of Health are being tested as of now.
LEBANON, NH – During these uncertain times, anxiety and depression can be heightened, so it’s important to take care of your mental health. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health’s Director of Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Anxiety Disorders Service, Robert Brady, PhD, offers these 5 tips to manage anxiety:
WATERBURY — Slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Vermont is necessary to help ensure the health care system has the capacity to care for Vermonters who experience the worst impacts of this highly contagious disease. Gov. Phil Scott has ordered critical strategies to help achieve this goal.
Health officials in Vermont and New Hampshire announced dozens of new cases of coronavirus in each state over the weekend.
BURLINGTON – As reports appear in the news of certain drugs being potentially used for treatment or prevention of COVID-19, the Vermont Department of Health strongly urges caution.
DANVILLE — Virus fears that force people apart couldn’t keep a community from coming together to honor the memory of a local man who died Wednesday and offer a show of support for his family.
MONTPELIER — Near lockdown measures across all facets of Vermont’s economy and civilian life will continue with sheltering in place orders and historic closures of most businesses and schools as the coronavirus pandemic continues to see rising cases here and nationwide.
The St. Johnsbury Fire Department has adopted new response procedures aimed at reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure to firefighters.
New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald urges people to be on the alert for charitable giving and consumer product scams related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
BARNET — Snowmen are impervious to coronavirus.
LYNDON CENTER — Lyndon Institute’s offer for a vacant dormitory, the Mathewson House, for use as a temporary homeless shelter is for families only, and not for the use of former guests of the overnight warming shelter located on Hospital Drive in St. Johnsbury, the school reported.
Governor Phil Scott on Thursday afternoon directed schools to remain dismissed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
As COVID-19 cases increase in New Hampshire, a North Country man who tested positive two weeks ago and was among the earliest confirmed cases in the state recounts his experience, at both the local and state levels.
The Vermont Supreme Court has now closed all remaining court hearings to the public with one exception.
There will be no roadblocks, checkpoints or demands for identification from police as they enforce Vermont Gov. Phil Scott’s “stay at home” order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
LITTLETON — Even in the best of times, sustaining the Meals on Wheels program at the Littleton Area Senior Center (LASC), which for decades has provided daily hot meals to Littleton area seniors, has been a challenge.
Despite assurances from individual grocers and trade associations for the industry that there is ample supply of provisions, shoppers continue to empty shelves of basics at grocery stores.
NEWPORT CITY — Ivy Russell says it’s nice to get her school lunch delivered at home.
The Caledonia County State’s Attorney’s Office is in total coronavirus lock-down.
BETHLEHEM — Teachers and staff members at Bethlehem Elementary School want their students to know they are loved.
ST. JOHNSBURY — Most of the students at St. Johnsbury Academy went home in recent weeks, but 61 of them, mostly from China, remain on campus.
On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, DHHS announced 29 new positive test results for COVID-19. There have now been 137 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in New Hampshire. The new cases are 12 adult males, 16 adult females, and one female under age 18. The new cases reside in Rockingham (14), Hillsborough County other than Manchester and Nashua (8), Strafford (2), Belknap (1), Grafton (1), and Merrimack (1) counties, and in the City of Manchester (2). Coos County remains the only New Hampshire county without a confirmed case.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott detailed the latest effort to slow a concerning rise of coronavirus cases at a Wednesday press conference during which officials indicated the state needs to at least double its number of hospital beds, ventilators and medical supplies to handle the potential number of cases.
ST. JOHNSBURY — Part of the closed Catamount Arts building on Eastern Avenue may be converted into an emergency sewing factory to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers in the Northeast Kingdom.
Across the world, people are beginning to hang Christmas lights again, even though it’s officially spring.
This was not a test.
MANCHESTER, N.H. — The New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, is taking steps in preparation for an anticipated increase in food insecurity due to the statewide impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. Along with increasing food purchasing, the New Hampshire Food Bank is working with agencies across the state to provide critical resources and to understand where the need is greatest. The New Hampshire Food Bank established a dedicated webpage, www.nhfoodbank.org/covid-19/, to provide a secure online portal for making donations, and also to keep employees, partners and clients informed.
REGION — The North Country Public Health Emergency Preparedness Region has activated their Multi-Agency Coordinating Entity (MACE) due to the events surrounding the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This Regional Emergency Operations Group is comprised of multiple agency officials representing public health, healthcare, community health centers, municipal emergency managers, and other partners throughout the region. The purpose of this group is to provide public information and risk communication, resource management, and the coordination of activities in the North Country as it relates to this quickly evolving pandemic emergency.
LEBANON, NH – Edward Merrens, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, shared updates about testing capabilities, mask usage, limiting staff entrances to the medical center, temperature screenings, the success of our fabric mask donations, and acknowledging that we are all trying to adapt during these unsettled times, on Tuesday.
Hospitals are desperate for personal protective equipment as they prepare for a wave of coronavirus patients.
When the St. Johnsbury School Board last met in February, those in attendance gathered together to enjoy cake and wish a fond farewell to departing member and chairman Chris Wenger. On Monday, the board “met” for the first time since Town Meeting and since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Modeled on mutual aid systems in southern New Hampshire that involve volunteers doing grocery shopping for older residents most at risk for severe COVID-19 effects and therefore advised to keep their distance from people, a similar mutual aid effort in the North Country has sprung up.
MONTPELIER — Governor Phil Scott issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and directed the closure of in-person operations for all non-essential businesses Tuesday afternoon.
Students across the state — and across geographic and socio-economic divides — have been ordered by their governors to stay home and move to distance learning, which in many cases involves using computers and the internet.
China is a world away from where James Wemyss grew up and where he spent his summers and vacations in the North Country.
Caledonia County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Harris has denied a request to have three detainees released from jail due to fears of a coronavirus outbreak behind bars.
U.S. Attorney Christina E. Nolan has announced that her office will prioritize the investigation and prosecution of fraud schemes, and other crime related to COVID-19 that seek to exploit the public or harm the vulnerable during this national health emergency. U.S. Attorney Nolan urged the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or emailing the NCDF at email@example.com.
MONTPELIER — Governor Phil Scott today announced additional mitigation measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an update to Littleton selectmen on Monday, Littleton Regional Healthcare’s medical director gave the state of COVID-19 in the community and said tests could be available at LRH in the coming weeks and LRH could serve as a National Guard hospital if needed.
Vermont is experiencing community spread of COVID-19. Everyone is strongly encouraged to engage in their activities while keeping a safe distance from others – and to stay home when possible. This is critical to helping slow the spread of the virus and protect our vulnerable populations.
Three people in the Northeast Kingdom have now tested positive for coronavirus announced state and local health officials, and state corrections officials also revealed a staff member at the Newport prison had tested positive.
MONTPELIER — State officials announced that coronavirus testing in the state reveals more examples of sustained community transmission in the state as the number of positive results leapt to 75 on Monday from 29 on Friday.
LITTLETON, NH — Effective Monday, Littleton Regional Healthcare is no longer allowing visitors with a few exceptions, the hospital announced due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Phil Scott announced the Vermont Department of Public Service has released an interactive Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map to help Vermonters connect to publicly available internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
DURHAM, N.H. — As the coronavirus continues to spread keeping schools across the country closed, children from elementary to high school are t…
North Country Healthcare, with hospitals across northern New Hampshire is temporarily suspending routine and other services effective Tuesday.
ST. JOHNSBURY — In the Zajko home, the internet is now the family lifeline.
LEBANON, NH – The concept of social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 has left the community, and the 490 Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) volunteers, feeling unsure how they can help during this time of need. As critical supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) dwindles across the country, there has been a national movement of volunteers who have started to sew masks for hospital staff and patients.
ST. JOHNSBURY — Social distancing means six feet of space between everyone during the coronavirus pandemic.
In times of crisis, separating fact from fiction is more important than ever. But doing so can also be more difficult.
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced additional community mitigation measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small business owners have been economically devastated by the coronavirus outbreak.
As the COVID-19 shutdown continues, some elderly residents in the North Country, those most vulnerable to the virus, are social-distancing as advised and getting what they need, be it groceries, medication or other essentials, from volunteers or family members.
MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will temporarily stop pursuing enforcement action against retailers or redemption centers who fail to redeem beverage containers subject to Vermont’s bottle bill law (10 VSA §1523).
Vermont is now experiencing community spread of COVID-19, which is why everyone is being encouraged to engage in their activities while keeping a safe distance from others – or to stay home when possible – to help slow the spread of the virus and protect our vulnerable populations.
As ever-more-urgent recommendations from government and health officials advocate for people to avoid in-person interaction, local governments have grasped for a way to continue functioning in a safe manner while abiding by constitutional requirements ensuring open meetings and access to records.
Criminal charges are possible for purposely spreading the coronavirus.
A Lyndonville defense attorney wants the court to release four of her clients from jail arguing that Vermont prisons are unprepared for a coronavirus outbreak behind bars.
Banks and credit unions across the region closed lobbies Thursday in reaction to the coronavirus COVID-19.
Gov. Phil Scott has called on Vermonters to help protect our most vulnerable ¬– the elderly and the very ill ¬– and announced several strategies to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Gov. Scott declared a state of emergency to help ensure Vermont has all the necessary resources to respond to this evolving threat. Read the executive order
MONTPELIER — Today the Vermont Public Utility Commission (“Commission”) directed the state’s regulated utilities to stop any disconnection of residential utility service due to nonpayment of electricity, natural gas, and telecommunications bills. This moratorium on involuntary utility disconnections will last until at least April 30.
MONTPELIER — In an effort to facilitate increased applications to its Unemployment Insurance Claims Center, the Vermont Department of Labor has announced the creation of an electronic form and staffing increases to assist those individuals impacted as a result of COVID-19.
CONCORD, NH – On Tuesday, Granite State Progress and members of the NH Health Care Coalition sent a letter to Gov. Chris Sununu and state legislative leaders asking for the State of New Hampshire to request a special open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act amid the COVID-19 public health crisis.
MONTPELIER – Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos announced measures taken by the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) to address healthcare workforce shortages during the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, and to provide emergency guidance to pharmacies.
LEBANON, NH – Yesterday, the White House announced a call-to-action for anyone who can donate any expendable personal protective equipment (PPE) to address the nationwide shortages that healthcare providers are facing. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) echoes the urgent local need and requests donations of masks, face shields, isolation gowns, gloves and hand sanitizer.
ST. JOHNSBURY — Since she graduated from high school, Tammy Westcott, 56, has devoted her life’s work to making sure kids in the Northeast Kingdom have healthy meals.
The St. Johnsbury Police Department is changing its response protocols due to the coronavirus.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION – Visitors to the White River Junction Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center will notice several changes on campus as the facility intensifies its COVID-19 response efforts.
NEWPORT CITY — The city council reappointed embattled city manager Laura Dolgin Monday evening before about 50 people in the city gym.
Lake Memphremagog Fish Lesion Discussion Postponed
Three days after a state of emergency was declared in New Hampshire to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, health care, emergency response and school officials across the North Country met for a conference call Monday to work out the logistics of a regional emergency response if it becomes necessary.
ST. JOHNSBURY — In light of ever more stringent measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, senior meal sites across the region started implementing drastic changes to their operations and indicated more help may be needed to meet an increased demand for Meals on Wheels service.
To contain the spread of coronavirus, the governors of New Hampshire and Vermont have ordered all bars and restaurants closed for the next three weeks.
Across the region, fears about the coronavirus and the real-time responses are affecting people’s lives in the North Country and the Northeast Kingdom.
MONTPELIER, VT — On March 16, the Vermont Supreme Court declared a Judicial Emergency due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The Emergency will extend until April 15, unless further extended by order of the Court. Notwithstanding any rule or timeline inconsistent with the Emergency Order, all non-emergency Superior Court hearings, whether evidentiary or non-evidentiary, will be postponed. The Order cites specific exceptions for high-priority cases that must be heard. All Judicial Bureau hearings are postponed.
MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos has announced the closure of Secretary of State’s office buildings to members of the public, in an effort to protect Vermonters and slow the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).
In efforts to reduce the risk of exposure of residents and town employees, the St Johnsbury Select Board authorized a 9-day grace period for the property tax payment due on March 18, and tax payments that are postmarked March 27 or earlier will have interest and penalties waived.
The Vermont Community Foundation announced it has established the VT COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofit organizations throughout the state that are particularly equipped to address community impacts of the novel coronavirus.
Under a state of emergency declared Friday by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, various Vermont agencies and departments made major announcements regarding their response to the pandemic.
Concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus have prompted the New Hampshire Judicial Branch on Thursday to postpone upcoming court trials, among them the domestic violence case of former state Sen. Jeff Woodburn, D-Whitefield.
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is here, hospital officials say.
LYNDONVILLE — VT RuralEdge release a statement on Friday advising the public that its offices will be closed until March 18 after learning that one of its staff members was in close proximity to the presence of coronavirus.
Note: This story incorrectly said the St. Johnsbury World Vermont Maple Festival (April 24-26) was cancelled. It was actually the St. Albans Vermont Maple Festival that same weekend.
Most houses of worship in the region that responded to an inquiry about responses to coronavirus intend to continue corporate worship services but emphasize more hand-washing and less hand-shaking.
Concerns over the spread of coronavirus are on everyone’s minds.
Concerns over the spread of Coronavirus prompted local organizations to alter their plans. The following is a list of events and venues we know have been affected. We will update the list as information becomes available.
Local municipal governments across the region are taking steps to prepare for the possibility of an outbreak of coronavirus in the region and to try to keep municipal employees safe while maintaining a continuity of services.
As concerns and uncertainty persist about what will be the full impact of the 2019 novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19, which has now been classified as a pandemic, senior centers and nursing homes in the North Country are taking extra precautions to keep their residents safe.
Emergency Service providers are focused on preventing the spread of the Coronavirus while developing plans for what to do if those efforts fail.
CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Following the World Health Organization’s designation of the coronavirus as a pandemic, Sterling College will suspend in-person classes and transition to distance learning. Although there are no suspected or confirmed cases of the coronavirus at Sterling, the College takes these steps to conform with recommendations from local, state and federal officials, and to minimize the impact on the academic experience of Sterling students.
More than 5,000 students attending the Vermont State Colleges campuses at Northern Vermont University at Johnson and Lyndon, as well as Vermont Technical College, Castleton University and the Community College of Vermont, will move to all online learning starting next week.
NEWPORT — Forced to postpone the Northeast District Junior High Music Festival in February due to weather, officials determined Tuesday the event rescheduled for today would need to be canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.
MONTPELIER, VT – To support the ongoing work of the Vermont Department of Health and expand the capacity of state government to coordinate the COVID-19 response, Gov. Phil Scott has ordered additional state agencies and departments to activate through the Vermont State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). The activation is in accordance with the State Emergency Management Plan and will organize efforts, as well information sharing and communications with local and state officials.
LYNDON CENTER — On Friday, the school work for Lyndon Institute students will be all homework.
BURLINGTON — The Vermont Department of Health is asking Vermonters to follow new travel guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The department is requesting that people who return from certain countries affected by the new coronavirus stay home for 14 days to help limit spread of the disease.
As the uncertainty about the coronavirus persists, schools in the North Country are taking proactive measures, including issuing an informational letter to parents, using germ-killing products on school interiors, and even canceling some upcoming school trips.
DERBY LINE — U.S. Customs and Border Protection is following the same procedures at land ports of entry as at international airports when it comes to the novel coronavirus 2019.
Local schools are approaching the coronavirus outbreak with an abundance of caution.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday that the two people in the Granite State who recently traveled to Wuhan City, China - one who was being held in isolation for a week at Littleton Regional Healthcare - have tested negative for the coronavirus.
LITTLETON — Although it was expected the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would release their results by Tuesday or Wednesday on a White Mountain School student being tested for coronavirus, those results will likely come today.
LITTLETON — An international student at The White Mountain School is one of two people in New Hampshire being isolated and tested for coronavirus.
School administrators at St. Johnsbury Academy and Lyndon Institute say they have no immediate concerns about the spread of the potentially deadly Coronavirus from China, but are remaining vigilant and taking precautions.