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Brattleboro again requires masking in public indoor spaces

August 19, 2021 GMT

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) — Officials in the town of Brattleboro have adopted a resolution requiring that masks again be worn in the town’s public indoor spaces.

The select board voted 4-1 Tuesday in favor of the resolution, which must be approved by Vermont’s health commissioner.

The board also unanimously approved a separate resolution encouraging mask wearing and vaccinations against COVID-19, the Brattleboro Reformer reported.

Earlier this summer, the board had voted to lift the mask mandate for vaccinated people in indoor spaces.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people should wear masks indoors in public in areas with “substantial” or “high” levels of transmission of the coronavirus. Last week, Windham County was considered to have “substantial” levels of community transmission but that dropped to “moderate” levels just before Tuesday’s meeting, according to the CDC.

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“It’s not just going to go away,” board member Jessica Gelter said of the virus. “I know that a mandate by the town when unenforced may feel useless to some folks but I think it’s the strongest statement that we can make that we want people to pay attention to these guidelines coming from the CDC, guidelines coming from science.”

In other pandemic-related news:

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WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEMS

Vermont is formally adopting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation for those with weakened immune systems to receive an additional dose, or booster shot, of COVID-19 vaccine.

“People should talk to their health care provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine. “Some primary care providers are equipped to give an additional dose to those who are eligible.”

Although mass vaccination clinics are closed, there are still plenty of vaccination sites across the state.

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SCHOOL VACCINATION CLINICS

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Thursday announced a series of vaccination clinics at schools for anyone 12 or older.

Scott said the goal is to make it easier for 12- to 17-year-olds to get vaccinated, but the clinics are open to all.

“The more students, parents and school employees we have vaccinated, the stronger position schools will be in to minimize disruption and have a healthy and successful in-person school year for our kids,” he said.

The clinics were on Thursday at Essex High School and Rutland High School and on Friday at Mt. Abraham Union High School and Bellows Falls Union High School.

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Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic