Bi Weekly Update 06.15.20

“It’s time. This moment is our time for folks…—not just Black folks— to show up and confront the violent and brutal reality of law enforcement across the United States of America. I promise, the moment you listen to Black organizers you will be freed.”
Patrisse Cullors
Black Lives Matter organizer and activist 

     In observance of Juneteenth this week, a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of African slaves in America, the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) is organizing a weekend (6/19-6/21) of action to demand divestment from police departments and investment in black communities. “This Juneteenth is a rare moment for our communities to proclaim in one voice that Black Lives Matter, and that we won’t tolerate anything less than justice for all our people,” said the organization in a press release.
     Titled SixNineteen, the Juneteenth weekend of action includes several digital actions and marches around the country to push three causes: defunding the police, investing in black communities, and the resignation of donald trump. Although details about the actions have not been provided, the group said June 19th will be dedicated to celebrating black beauty and resilience, while marches will be organized for June 20th, and the focus for June 21st will be to get trump out of office. “Electoral justice and political power are often pitted against activism and protest, but in our movement they are deeply connected and a requirement for one and the other to coexist", said Jessica Byrd, an organizer with the Movement For Black Lives Electoral Justice Project, in a statement.
     “For the last six years we have collectively taken a national course in police violence, and we now know some solutions that have been offered, have not borne fruit in terms of reducing or eliminating police violence, said Mervyn Marcano, the co-founder of Blackbird. “We believe this weekend of action will continue to lift people’s spirits at the same time that they are fighting for justice in the streets.”
     For more information on Juneteenth, check out this video clip from an episode of black.ish in 2017. In it, an animated version of The Roots gives viewers a Schoolhouse Rock-inspired primer on the real history of slavery and the origin of the holiday. FACT: It took three years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation for slaves to be freed. FACT: Texas landowners forced slaves to work through another harvest season after then Civil War ended. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, to be exact, that slaves were officially freed, leading to the celebration of “Juneteenth” as the official end of slavery. On the track that follows, Black Thought sings, “I am a slave, yes I’m only a slave / They’ll place my body in an unmarked grave.”

HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, June 14th, 2020

Brattleboro Mother Up! Meet-Up
Sunday, June 14th, 2020 at the Retreat Farm (45 Farmhouse Square, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-12pm.

Outdoor areas at the Retreat Farm are open to the public, including the family park, farm animals, and trails. We're going to use this as an opportunity to try an in-person meet-up! Guidelines:
* Group must be 25 people or fewer, so RSVP is necessary. You can respond to this FB event, but please email abby@350vt.org to confirm.
* Unless eating, masks required for all adults. Masks at parental discretion for kids under age 5.
* Maintain physical distance
* Unfortunately, free breakfasts ended last weekend. You are invited to bring your own food, but we can not share.
* There are no picnic tables, so bring your own picnic blankets and chairs if you want them.
We'll share gratitudes as well as what it's been like for our families over the last several months. We'll also discuss race, racism, and anti-racism, especially as it relates to the climate movement. We'll end with a song. Can't wait to see some of you in person!
Mother Up!: Families Rise Up for Climate Action is a project of 350 Vermont bringing together families to talk about the tough realities of climate change and to participate in the transition to a healthier and safer world. What Joanna Macy calls the “Great Turning,” or the third revolution, is this unprecedented time where we are called to stop the destruction of our world, to build new life-sustaining practices and ways of being, and to shift our collective consciousness. We especially wish to engage young parents in this vital discussion of how we can make positive changes to protect our planet for our children's future.

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Black Lives Matter Protest: Bennington, VT
Sunday, June 14th, 2020 at the Bennington Police Dept (118 South Street, Bennington, VT, 05201). 4pm.

A peaceful demonstration for the lives of George Floyd and the countless others. Wear masks, bring signs, and let your voices be heard!
✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿🖤

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, JUNE 15th, 2020-SUNDAY, JUNE 21st 2020

Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Environment and Social Justice
hosted by the Sierra Club, 350 Vermont, and Vermont Conservation Voters
Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 online. 7pm-9pm. Register here: https://act.sierraclub.org/events/details?formcampaignid=7013q000001ajMLAAY to get the link for the meeting.
Today, much of our attention focuses on the intersecting crises of COVID-19 and racial injustice. The Sierra Club places the health of our communities, frontline workers, and protection of the most vulnerable among our highest priorities. We stand with Black people, people of color and marginalized communities who are fighting to dismantle racist systems. We are committed to doing our part in Vermont. We hope you will join us, too. 
At this time, the Sierra Club along with Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) and 350Vermont invites you to participate in our 2020 Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Environmental and Social Justice on June 17. We will hear how candidates plan to address the COVID-19 crisis, racial injustice, and the climate crisis, among many other issues.

 

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Defend Black Lives (Keene, NH Juneteenth BLM Rally)
Juneteenth, Friday, June 19th, 2020 at Pat Russell Park (formerly Carpenter Field, 41-73 Carpenter Street, Keene, New Hampshire). 4pm. 
The deaths of Black people by law enforcement and vigilantes is the result of centuries-old anti-Black attitudes flanked by prejudicial legislation and a “Wild Wild West” approach to law and order meant to intimidate Black people and control our behavior. Many elements—such as racist stereotypes, stand-your-ground laws, law enforcement and vigilantism that have treated Black people with a guilty-until-proven innocent approach, and antiquated policing systems with roots in slave catching—coalesce to create a network of deadly terror for Black communities nationwide. This network, compounded by a criminal legal system with a history of antipathy toward us, wreaks havoc on Black bodies like George, Ahmaud, and Breonna.
Right now, uprisings are taking place in all 50 states, and more than two-thirds of Americans agree that police violence is systemic. We haven’t experienced mass mobilizations like this since the uprisings led by courageous Black folks in Ferguson and St. Louis. These actions include small towns, as well as major cities in both red and blue regions.The energy is sustained and escalating. The Movement for Black Lives is alive and vibrant.
Our Demands:
1. Defund the police.
Over time, police budgets have steadily grown as local towns and cities experience budgetary shortfalls for critical resources like public education, houselessness, and mental health. With outsized budgets, this positions police to fill gaps left by a lack of other services. This also brings police, who have a history of using deadly force against Black people, in closer proximity to our children, neighbors, and communities. Today, police budgets account for 25 percent and higher of all local budgets. Given that we're in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression now is the time to scrutinize police budgets; rethink the role of the police; and center our health, safety, and well-being. We need bold, visionary action right now.
Much has been made of reintroducing existing use-of-force regulations as a potential way forward to end police violence. Regulations are important, as they can function as a guide for police departments of any size or scale. But we cannot be more clear: They are insufficient as a solution to the problem of police violence, either incrementally or as a tool of transformation.
2. Invest in Black communities.
The record unemployment our nation is currently experiencing comes at the tail end of decades of disinvestment in Black communities and Black people. It is time to make real investments in our communities. That means diverting wasteful spending on militarized police and investing in community-based programs like healthcare, education, and housing that we know keep us safer, allow us to thrive, and preserve our dignity.
3. Call for the resignation of donald trump.
Donald Trump has a long history of racism, division, fear mongering, and the weaponization of hate. From calling for the execution of innocent Black boys dubbed the Central Park Five in the 80s to defending murderous white supremacists in Charlottesville to using racist political messaging to support his reelection, Trump has continually put our families in danger and rolled back the rights of marginalized groups. His recent declaration, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” has put every protestor at risk. Trump and his administration have brought harm, suffering, and divisiveness, and it is time for him to resign.


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FUTURE EVENTS

Self Accountability Lab
hosted by the Brattleboro Community Justice Center
Monday, June 22nd, 2020 online HERE. 3pm-4:30pm. Email grace@brattleborocjc.org if you'd like to work with our ASL interpreters before the event. Sales end on Jun 22 at 3pm. Facilitated by Grace Koch, the Americorps VISTA at the Brattleboro Community Justice Center.
Join the Brattleboro Community Justice Center as we examine how to create practices in our lives that hold us accountable to the people we truly want to be. This is going to be a highly self-reflective lab with lots of prompts to think on, and we highly encourage you to bring something to record your thoughts.
We will be looking at...
*What self accountability is
*How self accountability fits into the work of practicing community accountability, transformative justice, and restorative practices.
*What we are holding ourselves to (values, actions, dismantling various oppressive systems in our minds, bodies, and communities)
*How to practice self accountability
There will be one or two opportunities for discussion in breakout rooms, but we invite you to view this as an opportunity to do the deeply personal work of investigating who you are, who you want to be, and how to hold yourself accountable to the latter in a way that is right for you!
This lab is going to be recorded so that folks can access it and work through it multiple times if they wish. There will also be ASL interpreters on the call, and we invite folks who are deaf to email grace@brattleborocjc.org if they'd like to meet with them prior to the event by Wednesday, June 17th. This is part of Community, Accountability, Safety, and Harm (CASH) Labs, a series of "labs" put on by the Brattleboro Community Justice Center that seek to build the skills that folks need to prevent, respond to, and heal from instances of interpersonal harm while addressing the harm's systematic roots.

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Seeing and Disrupting Racism: A Focus on White Fragility
hosted by Peace & Justice Center
Sunday, June 28th, 2020, online here: https://www.pjcvt.org/event/seeing-disrupting-racism-a-focus-on-white-fragility-2/. Tickets can be purchased here: www.pjcvt.org. 2pm-3:30pm. This workshop was developed for predominantly white audiences, but all are welcome. Space is limited, registration is required. Suggested donation $10, no one turned away for lack of funds. View our sliding scale document on the registration form. Also happening on July 1. For more information, contact: program@pjcvt.org or 802-863-2345 x9.
This introductory-level workshop defines racism and white fragility, explores how white fragility perpetuates racism, and gives ways to disrupt that cycle.
Details for the July 1st event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1358885091169030/

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COMMUNITY PETITION

Prison Should Not Be A Covid-19 Death Sentence: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/prison-should-not-be-a-covid-19-death-sentence/
COVID19 is impacting families all across Vermont and the nation. We have known from the beginning that group living settings are particularly susceptible to rapid infection. We have seen in other countries and states that the outcome of not taking strong preventative measures in prisons is a spike in cases of infection. We have also seen effective examples of precautions being taken 
Join myself, Representatives Mari Cordes, Kevin Christie, Selene Colburn and Brian Cina. House rep candidate, Tanya Vyhovsky, Chittenden County Senate Candidate, Kesha Ram, Barre City Councilor; Teddy Waszazak, Burlington City Councilor; Zoraya Hightower, and other elected officials in demanding health justice for all Vermonters. Please add your name to ask Governor Phil Scott to take preventative and reactive measures to protect Vermont's Prison Population, Corrections Officers and Staff, along with the greater community. Elected officials and candidates will be added as we connect and they respond. Today I ask all of you to join us! https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/prison-should-not-be-a-covid-19-death-sentence/

 

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COMMUNITY SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES

 

Out in the Open Rural QTBIPOC/LGBTQIA+ Mutual Aid Fund
The Mutual Aid Fund is offering requests up to $400 and support for: Groceries, supplies, housing support, medical support, and other thriving and survival needs.
Queer Joy= Mutual Aid
Mutual Aid= Voluntary, reciprocal, participatory support among equals and being with, not for, community members.
Pride= Resistance
We are here for our community, our community is here for each other.
Ask: request funds for support weareoutintheopen.org/mutualaid
Offer: to donate, weareoutintheopen.org/donate
The Mutual Aid Fund will distribute money to LGBTQ+ folks, prioritizing QTBIPOC folks requesting funds. Priority will also be given to folks in Southern Vermont, southwestern New Hampshire, and then elsewhere in Vermont and New England, where funds of this type are critically needed. Additional priority will be given to those who live at the intersections of systematically oppressed experiences & identities.
To request funds and for more information: weareoutintheopen.org/mutualaid!
To donate, visit: weareoutintheopen.org/donate
"We Need Each Other" image credit to @itsmonicatrinidad
[Image Description: Square image background in yellow, at the top of the image there is the BlackLivesMatter pride flag with black text reading "Rural QTBIPOC/LGBTQ+ Mutual Aid Fund" Below text reads "A Pandemic Relief Fund of Out in the Open" below the text image by Monica Trinidad two hands holding each other with the text "We Need Each Other" underneath. Below that text reads, Ask: To request funds, visit: weareoutintheopen.org/mutualaid Offer: To donate text 'FUNDFOLKS' to 44-321.]

 

LGTBQIA+ Resources via Out in the Open

Out in the Open is offering a lot of resources & virtual spaces for rural LGBTQ folks in this time, friends. The full list and calendar is on our website hereWe have a Community Care Offers & Asks list, and a list of Rural New England Mutual Aid opportunities, with specific resource links for LGBTQ and QTPOC folks. Out in the Open also has a Slack channel for rural LGBTQ folks to share resources and connect outside of social media. Email info@weareoutintheopen.org for more information.

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Are You Sewing Masks? We have patterns and more information here: https://www.wecantogether.net/masks

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Online Religious Services

All Souls Church U.U. holds on-line services at 1o a.m. on Sundays and Virtual Vespers at 7 p.m. on Thursdays.
To get the current information on an upcoming service or vespers check the All Souls web page www.ascvt.org.

 

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Vermont Nonviolent Medicaid Army
Sponsored by Vermont Workers’ Center
Our mission is to serve our communities by ensuring everyone gets the health care and services we need, through this crisis and beyond.
Medicaid, also known as Green Mountain Care, is a lifeline in uncertain times for poor and working-class people in Vermont. But with the growing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, our Medicaid system and our rural hospitals and clinics are facing new threats.
Join us to defend and expand Medicaid to everyone, keep our rural hospitals open, and win a livable wage for all home and health care workers in Vermont. 
You don’t have to be on Medicaid to join - all we ask is a firm commitment to securing the well-being of everyone in our communities.
For more information or to join go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/NVMAVT/about/ or contact windham@workerscenter.org
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COVID 19 RESOURCES: VERMONT

Statewide Mutual Aid
organized by Brenda for Vermont
Localized Mutual Aid has been organized in Brattleboro and Putney and hyper local neighborhoods in Marlboro.  If your community does not have mutual aid or you can't find it, please sign up to volunteer or if you are in need of help.  All of us will likely be on the side of being able to help and needing help at times.  Please don't hesitate to ask for help.
Sign up here if you would like to help your neighbors or are in need of help:https://www.brendaforvermont.com/cms/help-your-neighbor/
The links below will take you directly to the mutual aid forms. 
To Volunteer: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfkRnbDKtNX_SacVaHWPyIAnsSXDGLsDMZE8vys25nzTgUo5A/viewform
If You Need Help: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfw7gg12KNq6n4s7SDUxf1ghMx-0MD3S0RCWQtxqmPTJQI8QA/viewform

 

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A Message to Vermonters from Senator Bernie Sanders

As a member of the United States Senate, I want to make sure that the citizens of Vermont receive all of the federal benefits and help to which they are entitled. Although I cannot guarantee a particular outcome, I want you to know that my staff and I will do our best to respond to your concerns.
To contact Senator Sanders with a question, concern or comment please use this link: https://www.sanders.senate.gov/services/casework/.
If you want to contact me about your views and concerns regarding legislation and other issues important to you please use the COMMENTS FORM
If this is an emergency, please call: 802-862-0697 (Out-of-State 800-339-9834).
Note: We are currently experiencing a high volume of inquiries. As we do our utmost to assist vulnerable Vermonters, please only complete the form above if you are requesting assistance. Go to General Comments to leave comments and opinions.

 

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Social Justice Resources

ROOT SOCIAL JUSTICE CENTER MUTUAL AID & SUPPORTIVE NETWORK
The Root Social Justice Center is collecting a list of contacts and resources to help support and assist with the needs of their Root community members. Join if you are in need or are able to help.

 

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COVID 19 INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO WINDHAM COUNTY, VT

 

Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Information
https://www.bmhvt.org
802-257-0341
BMH maintains a COVID-19 information page at https://www.bmhvt.org/coronavirus and reminds all who have primary care physicians to check with those providers if they have questions or concerns about their health.

 

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FREE HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS FOOD IN WINDHAM COUNTY

Brigid’s Kitchen, St. Michael’s Church, 47 Walnut Street, Brattleboro 802-254-6800 or 802-558-6072 
Grab-and-go lunches and fruit/nuts on Mon, Weds, Thus, and Sat, 11:30am-12:20pm.

Loaves and Fishes, Centre Congregational Church 193 Main Street, Brattleboro (802) 254-4730
Grab-and-go lunches on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12pm.

VT Foodbank and Veggie Van Go will be at Brattleboro Union High School (Fairground Ave, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the parking lot, on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month, from 10am-2pm. Drive up, touchless pickup. Walkers welcome, too. Call VT 211 for more information. 

Foodworks, the food shelf program of the Groundworks Collaborative https://groundworksvt.org (802) 490-2412, ccolascione@GroundworksVT.org 
Households in need of food are asked to call or email to coordinate delivery. There is an urgent need for volunteers, and Foodworks has set up protocols to keep staff, volunteers, and clients as safe as possible. Please email us at volunteer@GroundworksVT.org if you are able to help.

Guilford Food Pantry 
Every Thursday at the BBCC (3940 Guilford Center Road, Guilford, VT, 05301). 5pm-6pm.
We know that supplemental food can make such a big difference in one's budget. That is why we are stocking our shelves for our neighbors. All are welcome to come and take home fresh produce, staples, meat, dairy. Guilford Cares welcomes anyone in need of supplemental food for themselves or their families.

 

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Vermont WIC is Responding to Covid 19
We are moving to phone appointments to align with social distancing efforts. If you have opted in to email and text notifications, you will receive important program updates, including information about local office hours and changes in operations. Our website will be kept up-to-date as well. Contact your local office with any questions about breastfeeding, nutrition or shopping. Call 1-800-649-4357 or email WIC@Vermont.gov with any questions about WIC nutrition services and enrollment.

 

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COVID 19 GENERAL VERMONT INFORMATION

Weekly Summery of Vermont Covid19 Data

NEW: Weekly Summary of Vermont COVID-19 Data is a new feature, where you can see a deeper level of demographic and other detail. You can find out more about testing trends, outbreaks, pre-existing conditions and prevalence of symptoms.

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The Path to Restart Vermont

Just a reminder: Covid 19 is still very much prevalent and is not gone, despite the feeling you may get as VT and other states reopen. Please continue to wear masks and gloves when out in public, wash your hands whenever available, bring and use hand sanitizer often if hand washing isn't available, clean commonly used areas like door knobs and counter tops often, and stand at least 6 feet apart, even outdoors. 

NEW THIS WEEK:

Covid 19 Recovery Resource Center: 
https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19

For more information on:

  • COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data, visit www.healthvermont.gov/covid19.
  • The Governor’s actions, visit governor.vermont.gov/covid19response.
  • The state’s modeling, visit dfr.vermont.gov/about-us/covid-19/modeling.

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Testing

Testing at Popup Locations information can be found HERE

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New on Healthvermont.gov: Race and Ethnicity Data

The Health Department is now including data about race and ethnicity on its data dashboard at healthvermont.gov/covid19. We recognized the need to include this information to help us understand how Vermonters were being affected by COVID-19, but in our earlier efforts to respond to the pandemic, race and ethnicity data was not always collected for each patient. Health equity exists when all people have a fair and just opportunity to be healthy – especially those who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage, historical injustice, and other systemic inequalities. Therefore, our epidemiology team collaborated with Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) to cross-reference medical records to gain more robust race information about COVID-19 cases in Vermont. At the end of March, race was unknown in 73% of cases, but through our joint work, we have brought that number down to just 8%. We have been able to partner with VITL through a state directive issued in response to the State of Emergency. We can use this data to help to prevent the spread of illness, improve care for patients, and present a more complete picture of how COVID-19 may be affecting everyone in Vermont. The Vermont State Health Assessment reports on what we know about the health status of Vermonters. Updated every five years, most recently in 2018, the assessment provides vital data for examining health inequities by race and ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, and geography. See the report and learn more at healthvermont.gov/sha.

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Cloth Face Coverings

The department recommends that all Vermonters wear cloth face coverings when outside of the home, since COVID-19 can spread before a person has any symptoms. Facial coverings are encouraged for essential workers in stores and their customers.

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Volunteering

We still need your help! Please sign up to support the state’s COVID-19 response: https://vermont.gov/volunteer. 

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Guidance for Vermonters

Who to contact:

• If you have questions: Use the Ask A Question tool on healthvermont.gov and review the FAQs.

• For non-health related questions, dial 2-1-1. If you have trouble reaching 2-1-1, dial 1-866-652-4636.

• If you are sick: Stay home and contact your health care provider online or by phone. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.

Call the Health Department at 802-863-7240. We’re ready to respond to COVID-19 health-related questions. Calls are answered 8am - 6pm, seven days a week. Outside those hours, leave a message and your call will be returned.

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Enjoy the Outdoors Safely

Spring in Vermont is great – so take the proper precautions and go outside. Just be sure to stay close to home, practice social distancing, choose low-risk activities and respect all signs for closed areas  and Covid-19. For more info visit: https://fpr.vermont.gov/COVID-19.

Ticks are Terrible at Social Distancing

As you go safely outdoors, remember that the ticks are starting to come back and are hungry for their spring meal. It’s up to us to stay away from them. Use insect repellent, avoid wooded and brushy areas, and always do a tick check when you get home. Get more tick tips at healthvermont.gov/BeTickSmart.

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VT Health Dashboards

VT Health: https://vcgi.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/6128a0bc9ae14e98a686b635001ef7a7

VT Open Geodata Portal: https://geodata.vermont.gov/search?q=covid

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Are You an Uninsured Vermonter?

To enroll in a qualified health plan, you must sign up during an enrollment period. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, Vermont Health Connect has opened a Special Enrollment Period until June 15, 2020. During this time, any uninsured Vermonter can sign up for a Qualified Health Plan through Vermont Health Connect. Qualified families can also get financial help paying for coverage.. Please call us at 1-855-899-9600 to learn more.

Getting Started

  1. Learn about health insurance basics.
  2. Try our Plan Comparison Tool to find out if you qualify for financial help, and to see estimates of the total cost of each plan choice. Most Vermonters can either get free or low cost coverage through Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur, or get help to lower their monthly premium and out-of-pocket costs. 
  3. Ready to apply? Set up an online account with Vermont Health Connect and fill out your application there, or call us at 1-855-899-9600 and speak to a customer support representative. If you'd like to talk through health insurance terms or the application process in person, you can meet with a trained, certified in-person Assister near you

 

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RESOURCES FROM THE VT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

For daily Department of Health updates please use this link: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus

 

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VERMONT ESSENTIAL PERSONS INFORMATION 

Vermont Emergency Management Has Issued This Essential Persons List for Covid-19 Response
It includes staff and providers of childcare and education services, healthcare providers, public health employees, firefighters, first responders, pharmacy staff, grocery workers, and many more. The full list is here: https://vem.vermont.gov/sites/demhs/files/Essential%20Persons_03182020.pdf

 

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WSESU Essential Worker Request for Childcare
According to the state, "Essential Workers" will now be able to get childcare from the public school system. If you are classified as an Essential Worker and have no other adult available to provide childcare while you are at your job, you should complete this form. Once your form is submitted, you will be contacted by school personnel with more information.  
If you have questions, please contact the school counselor where your student is enrolled.

 

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NEIGHBORLY ASSISTANCE PRECAUTION RECOMMENDATIONS

While Vermonters are staying home or choosing activities that maintain social distancing as much as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19, some are stepping up to ensure their neighbors have what they need. This type of community support is crucial, but we need to make sure our helpers and volunteers are still using social distancing practices to protect our most vulnerable Vermonters.
Any volunteers bringing items to those who need to stay home should:

  • Keep a distance of six feet away.
  • Avoid entering the recipient’s home.
  • Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If you feel sick or learn that you have had contact with someone who is sick, stop doing community support work immediately.
  • Keep a list of anyone you come into close contact with in case contact tracing is required.
  • Wear clean gloves when handling items that may be given to people with a weaker immune system, and when you are close to someone who may be sick.

Common sense practices can go a long way while Vermonters take care of each other.
Want to help? Consider signing up for the Medical Reserve Corps. Volunteers can be deployed locally in the event of an emergency, support first aid stations at community events, educate the public on preparedness, and assist in promoting various health and wellness activities. You can also reach out to local community groups/organizers like rotary and lion clubs, soup kitchens and check out your neighborhood Front Porch Forum group.
Resources

Fact Sheets: Coronavirus and Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks from The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (Vermont Department of Mental Health)
Managing Anxiety and Stress
(CDC)
Slide Presentation on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Useful Posters

Social Distancing (smaller version)
Social Distancing
(larger version)
Keep Germs from Spreading
Proper Handwashing

 

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RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS

Department of Labor FAQs for Employers and Employees
https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions
Specific Guidance for Employees:
https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19/employees
Employee Assistance (Unemployment Claims):  1-877-214-3332.
Specific guidance for Employers:
https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19/employers
Employer Assistance (Unemployment Claims):  1-877-214-3331.
Vermont’s unemployment rules have been relaxed to be able to help folks. Their phone lines are swamped, so here is a link where you can start the process of applying for Vermont Unemployment Insurance. https://appengine.egov.com/apps/vt/dol/unemploymentinsuranceclaim

 

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MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE

Vermont Support Line from Pathways Vermont (833) 888-2557
The Vermont Support line is a free, anonymous resource for all Vermonters who are looking for someone to talk to. The Support Line is staffed by individuals who acknowledge that they have experienced a broad range of struggles of their own and are willing to be open about them.

 

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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Covid 19 Information and Resources can be found here:
COVID-19-and-Mental-Illness-NAMI-Releases-Importan/COVID-19-Updated-Guide-1.pdf?lang=en-US
.

 

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CDC Tips for Managing Anxiety in the COVID-19 Outbreak
Things you can do to support yourself

 

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IF YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER IS ILL

  • Stay home. Many people who are mildly ill can manage their symptoms at home with rest, drinking fluids and taking fever-reducing medicine (Tylenol), when needed. Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19.
  • Call your doctor and ask to be seen for an evaluation. Do not go to the doctor's office unless instructed to do so. Anyone who does not have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 to be connected to a clinic in their area.
  • Do not go to or visit any hospitals or long-term care facilities unless absolutely necessary. This is to protect everyone’s health, including patients and staff.
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people and animals in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick around other people and pets.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

Resources

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RESOURCE FOR WeCAN

Rapid Response Text Alert System

When WeCAN began, Song & Solidarity set up a Rapid Response Text Alert System for WeCAN Groups. Directions for signing up are on WeCAN's website, here: https://www.wecantogether.net/rapid_response. We are grateful to Song and Solidarity for providing this service.

  

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ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING 

Indigo Radio
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FM. To stream live, visit: www.wvew.org 
Indigo Radio, deepening understanding and making connections! IndigoRadio is a group of area educators seeking to learn through engaging with others in our community and throughout the world. We will be talking about educational and social issues both globally and locally and connecting them to our lives and Brattleboro community. Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigoradiowvew/. For archive recordings of past shows: https://soundcloud.com/user-654648353

 

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     Until next time, WeCAN readers. Be safe and healthy. We look forward to connecting with you soon. 

 

Joanna and Leslie
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