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Easing of some hospitality restrictions may come this week

September 14, 2020 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — 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.

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

“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.

In other developments related to the coronavirus in Vermont:

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SCHOOLS

A Vermont middle school in Duxbury is closed for the week and has switched to all remote learning after two students tested positive for the coronavirus.

The students are in fifth and seventh grades at Crossett Brook Middle School and attended the first day of in-person classes Sept. 8, according to a letter from the superintendent, MyNBC5.com reported.

The district is working with the Vermont Department of Health to do contract tracing, Superintendent Brigid Nease said.

The rest of the schools in the Harwood Union Unified School District remain open this week.

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THE NUMBERS Vermont reported 12 new cases of the coronavirus Monday, for a statewide total to date of 1,696.

Four of the new cases were in Chittenden County, three in Washington County, two in Lamoillle County, and one each in Bennington, Windsor and Grand Isle counties.

One person was currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, according to the Health Department. The total number of deaths has remained at 58 since late July.