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Vermont sees pandemic-related liquor shortage

July 9, 2021 GMT

WINOOSKI, Vt. (AP) — Vermont is undergoing a pandemic-related liquor shortage, state regulators say.

The shortage is leading to empty shelves in some stores and warehouses, WCAX-TV reported.

“It is a global issue. A lot of it has been exacerbated by the pandemic. It’s not going to be a quick fix,” said Wendy Knight, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery.

It’s a global supply chain issue “from production gearing back up from the pandemic, worker shortages, shipping issues, and a glass shortage. That comes on top of demand from restaurants and bars reopening,” she said.

The Burlington bar The Archives planned to open a second location in Winooski last year, but the pandemic kept them closed until Thursday. Now the arcade bar is facing another obstacle: “The liquor shortage has been a challenge,” the bar’s co-owner Matthew Walters said.

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Bars and restaurants are not the only ones feeling the tight supply.

“There’s enough to at least have your second choice, if not your first,” George Bergin of the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski told the news station. “With all the bars and restaurants opening up everywhere, everyone is trying to restock their shelves and it’s just taking a little bit of time to get caught up with the sudden demand.”

Vermont had a 13% increase in liquor sales during the pandemic, Knight said.

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THE NUMBERS

Vermont reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, for a statewide total since the pandemic began of more than 24,400 cases.

Five people were hospitalized, according to the Health Department on Friday.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from four new cases per day on June 23 to 4.71 new cases per day on July 7.

The Associated Press is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.