Weekly Update 03.09.20
"We have this conundrum where we have more media consumption than ever before in history, but a society that is unable to sift through it…because we have access to so much information, we are able to customize the media we consume, which sort of sounds great, except that it also means we customize our reality. We can do this overtly where we can cut out anything we don't want to see or hear, but algorithms are also feeding you things you are more likely to click on. You can create a media environment where you insulate yourself from facts or reason. In addition, we have an education system that doesn't really teach people how democracy works or values critical thinking— so a lot of things politicians, including Trump, do, go unquestioned."
Dr. Nolan Higdon
co-author of United States of Distraction: Media Manipulation in Post-Truth America (And What We Can Do About It). Dr. Higdon will be in Rockingham on 3/21 (event info below).
Thank you, WeCAN Friends, for taking time out of your busy Sunday to read through this week's Weekly Email Update. There are more than a few new events listed, so grab your calendar and let's get to it!
Please note: we have included a section at the very end of this email with pertinent information from the State of Vermont regarding Covid19. While we are not health care professionals and this is not a healthcare centered email, we do acknowledge that this virus is a public health concern that affects us all. Thank you.
HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, MARCH 8th, 2020
Hands-On Vegan Cooking and Eating Experience
sponsored by Edible Brattleboro
Sunday, March 8th, 2020, at the Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main Street. Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the Community Kitchen (please use the 7 Canal Street entrance). 4pm-6pm. Free. Donations accepted with gratitude. Space is limited. Please reserve your space by calling Shareholder Services at 802-257-0236 or emailing Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Edible Brattleboro chefs for a hands-on cooking experience preparing several recipes that feature leafy green vegetables in a three-course meal.
Grrrls 2 the Front 2: A Benefit for the Women's Action Team
sponsored by The Women's Action Team, Jeopardy, Dune Hunter & Future Fable.
Sunday, March 8th, 2020 at The Stone Church (210 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 4pm-10pm. Admission: Sliding scale $5-$20 at door.
Come celebrate and advocate for women's rights with us on March 8th! (International Women's Day). Featuring live music by these incredible female-fueled artists: Jeopardy, Thus Love, Dune Hunter, Moxie, Future Fable, Cyndi Cain Fitzgerald, Faye Patrick Kennedy.
Brattleboro Milk with Dignity Tour Presentation hosted by Migrant Justice
Sunday, March 8th, 2020 at the Root Social Justice Center (28 Williams St., Brattleboro VT 05301) 7:00-8:30pm.
Join us for a 1.5 hour presentation with farmworker leaders from Vermont’s dairy industry. Learn more about Milk with Dignity, the current Hannaford campaign and how to get involved!
Farmworkers from Vermont are hitting the road this month to spread the word about Milk with Dignity! Since Ben & Jerrys' became the first company to sign onto the Milk with Dignity Program in 2017, farmworkers have seen groundbreaking improvements in human rights issues on dairy farms across the state. This program also supports farmers by securing a milk premium from big dairy-buying companies which goes directly to farmers and farmworkers. In the fall of 2019 farmworkers announced plans to expand the program to another regional dairy-buyer, the Hannaford supermarket! Join us to learn more about Milk with Dignity, exciting updates about the Hannaford Campaign and how to get involved!
HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, MARCH 9th, 2020-SUNDAY, MARCH 15th, 2020
Meet David Zuckerman, Candidate for Governor
co-hosted by Everyone's Books and the Zuckerman for VT campaign
Monday, March 9th, 2020 at Everyone's Books (25 Elliot Street, Brattleboro VT 05301) 5:15pm-6:00pm. Questions? Contact: Leslie Sullivan Sachs at Everyone's Books (802-254-8160).
This is an opportunity to meet Lt. Governor David Zuckerman one-on-one, learn about his decades of service to Vermont and ask about the issues motivating his campaign for Governor. It is also an opportunity to learn how you can get involved in the Zuckerman for Governor campaign in Windham County.
No War, No Sanctions: Iran Study Group
facilitated by Brattleboro Solidarity
Mondays in March:
Monday, March 9th, 2020: US-Iranian Relations History
Monday, March 16th, 2020: Current Situation
Monday, March 23rd, 2020: Moving Towards Action
Monday, March 30th, 2020: Next Steps and Possible Local Actions
All meetings take place at the Brattleboro Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm-8pm. To sign up, contact email@example.com or call 802-380-1463.
Study materials created by Catalyst Project: Anti Racism for Collective Liberation with a curriculum to support action to stop war on Iran.
Healthy Relationship Lab
presented by the Brattleboro Community Justice Center and facilitated by a member of the Women's Freedom Center
Monday, March 9th, 2020 at the Brattleboro Coop (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the Community Room (please use the 7 Canal Street entrance). 6pm-8pm. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. This room is wheel-chair accessible from the Canal Street entrance.
Join us for a lively conversation on intimate relationships. We'll discuss the full range of relationships, from healthy to unhealthy to abusive. We’ll explore communication styles, share ideas, & build skills to foster healthy relationships and discuss red flags. We will also learn about local resources.
This lab is a 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.
Please RSVP, but it’s also okay if you show up the day of; the Community Room has a limit of 25 people so there is a small chance that if you don't RSVP you won't be able to attend the lab.
The Windham County Democrats Monthly Meeting with Guest David Zuckerman
Monday, March 9th, 2020 at the Winston Prouty Campus (209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in Holton Hall. 6:30pm-8pm.
We will be meeting this month on March 9th from 6:30pm-8:00 pm in Holton Hall on the Winston Prouty campus. Meetings are regularly held on the first Monday of the month, but because of town meeting, we have moved the March meeting to the second Monday.
On March 9th, David Zuckerman will be our guest speaker, presenting his priorities and taking questions regarding his candidacy for governor.
The meetings of Windham County Democrats are open to the public. If you are interested in helping get out the Windham County Democratic vote in November 2020, please join us.
Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, and Putney Residents Invited to WSESD Budget Information Session
Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 at Brattleboro Area Middle School (109 Sunny Acres Road, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 6pm. Childcare will be provided. Please email WSESD board chair Kristina Naylor at email@example.com if you will be attending and need childcare so we may ensure there are a sufficient number of childcare providers present.
The Windham Southeast School District (“WSESD”) school board will hold a budget information session on Tuesday, March 10th.
Brattleboro, Guilford, Dummerston, and Putney Residents - Windham Southeast School District Notice
Public Hearing: The VT Senate Committee on Education
Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 at the VT State House (115 State Street, Montpelier, VT, 05633), in Room 11. 4pm-6pm.
Seating is limited, those wishing to speak on the subject may sign-up beginning at 3:30. Oral testimony will be limited to two (2) minutes. Written testimony may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; please write “Pupil Weighting Study” in the subject line. Members of the public are encouraged to reach out, ideally by March 9th, 2020, to The VT Senate Education Committee and the VT House Education Committee, to express their support for changing the student weighting formula.
Windham Southeast School District Board Passes Resolution Calling on State Legislature to Change Student Weighting Formula
On February 26th , 2020, the Windham Southeast School District school board (hereafter, “The Board”) unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Vermont Legislature to implement changes to the weighting formula used by the state to determine a district’s equalized pupil count, as recommended by a state-commissioned study. The equalized pupil count is used by the state to set education tax rates.
In December, 2019, a study group commissioned by the Vermont Agency of Education submitted a report to the House and Senate Education Committees (among other committees) examining the formula used by the state to determine per pupil spending. The formula gave varying weight to different types of students (e.g. a Pre-K student is counted as 0.46, a High School Student as 1.13). The report recommended a number of changes to the formula to reflect higher educational costs associated with English Language Learners, schools with higher poverty rates, and schools in rural communities.
The Vermont legislature is considering whether to make the recommended changes to the student weighting formula. In passing its resolution, The Board recognized that the current weighting formula greatly disadvantages the schools of the Windham Southeast School District.
The changes suggested by the study group would enable the district to invest more resources in educating the students of our district.
Resolution Unanimously Passed by WSESD on February 26th, 2020:
The Windham Southeast School District recognizes the importance of using facts and valid research to guide our decisions and actions. We recognize the deleterious effects limited opportunity due to poverty, language, and restricted ability have on student performance. We call on the legislature to take immediate action to implement the findings of the student weighting research.
We are fully prepared to explain to our residents the necessary changes in student weighting identified in the recent legislative report. We see no reason to delay or perform further study before providing the level of support this research indicates is needed to help these marginalized students.
Vermont schools have seen little improvement in the performance of these students compared to peers with greater opportunities since we began measuring the gap in 2001. Now the legislature is being advised to “go slow”; and “be thoughtful” despite the clear data they have been presented. They are being advised to tell marginalized families they will just have to wait.
We call on the legislature to take immediate action to implement the findings of the student weighting research.
Disability Awareness Day
sponsored by VT Coalition for Disability Rights
Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at the VT State House (115 State St, Montpelier, VT 05633). 9am-6pm (arrive and leave freely throughout the day). Complimentary pizza lunch (regular and gluten-free). Evening program runs from 4pm-6pm: Appetizers, mingling & Keynote by Ed Paquin. To carpool from Windham County for the daytime workshops, but not the evening program, contact Ellen at email@example.com or (802) 257-4436. Free bus from Bennington will stop in Brattleboro. It has tie-downs for motorized chairs. For more info about bus schedule & to reserve a spot contact Charlie: firstname.lastname@example.org. Bus will go up later and stay for evening program.
The theme this year is Justice & Access for All. This is a day of advocacy, workshops, and camaraderie for people with disabilities and allies. Opening remarks at 9. Workshops start at 10am and run through 2:30pm.
Workshop topics: How to Talk to Your Legislator, Disabilities Reframed, Racial Equity and Justice for All (intersection between disability rights movement and racial equity), Medicaid & Health Care Reform, Mental Health Legislative Update.
Restorative Justice Panel Volunteer Training
Thursday, March 12th, 2020
Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Thursday, March 26th, 2020 at the Brattleboro Community Justice Center (230 Main St., Suite #302, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 5:30pm-8:30pm. Attending all three sessions is required. The BCJC is physically accessible, with accessible parking spaces in the back parking lot and an elevator to the third floor. We also have single-use, gender-free bathrooms on our floor for all to use. Please contact us with other accessibility needs. Dinner will be provided. Each meal will include vegetarian items. Let Jackie know any other dietary concerns. RSVP (and/or send questions) to Jackie Trepanier at either email@example.com or (802) 251-8141.
What is a Restorative Justice Panel?
A group of 4-5 community volunteers, a person who has broken a law, and the Justice Center's panel coordinator sit in a circle and discuss the crime that took place in terms of what happened, who was harmed, and what can be done to repair that harm. This happens once a month for 3 to 4 sessions.
Who is this training for?
Folks who are interested in volunteering as a Restorative Justice Panel Volunteer. This is a 2 and a half hour, once a month commitment.
What's being covered at this training?
March 12- A Personal Tour of Restorative Justice
March 19 - DoC (Dept. of Corrections) Training and Exploring the Vermont Criminal Justice System
March 26 - Basic Restorative Justice Panel Procedure
Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, March 13th, 2020 (and every Friday) at TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT). In front of the building. 12pm-1pm. Signs will be provided
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. What You Can Do (besides attending the vigils): If you’re a TD depositor, change banks! Founded in 2005, Post Oil Solutions is a 501c3 community organizing project in Southeastern Vermont whose mission is to help empower the people of the Central Connecticut River Valley bioregion in this era of global warming and climate change to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society.
Dance for Democracy: A Windham Votes! Benefit
hosted by the Windham County Democrats
Friday, March 13th, 2020 at The Stone Church (210 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 8pm-11pm. A suggested donation of $10 will be collected at the door with the proceeds going to support get out the vote efforts in Windham County.
The Windham County Democrats are hosting a fundraising and energy raising dance to support its Windham Votes! program. All are invited to enjoy the music of VT Shakedown and join in the dance at the Stone Church in Brattleboro. The Stone Church will be offering food and drink for sale. Come out and join our community in dancing for our democracy!
State Delegate Selection Plan Training
hosted by the Vermont Democratic Party
Saturday, March 14th, 2020 at Brattleboro Savings and Loan (221 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the Community Room. 11am-1pm.
Join the VDP and the Windham County Democratic Committee to learn about the Party's 2020 delegate selection plan.
Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, and Putney Residents Invited to the WSESD Annual Meeting
Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at Brattleboro Union High School (131 Fairgrounds Road, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the gym. 7pm. Childcare will be provided. Please email WSESD board chair Kristina Naylor at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be attending and need childcare so we may ensure there are a sufficient number of childcare providers present.
Friday, March 20th, 2020 at the Winston Prouty School (209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Thomas Hall, in the Great Room. 5:30pm-7:30pm. Free dinner, childcare, and gently facilitated. For more info: Katie Wilson - 802-451-0140 or email@example.com.
Join us for Dinner Together. Feeling isolated, distressed about the state of the world, or anxious? This is a great opportunity for families to meet peers. Those who support others who are struggling are also welcome. It's a wonderful time to connect with a supportive community.
Fake News, Filter Bubbles, and Media Literacy
Saturday, March 21st, 2020 at The Rockingham Free Public Library (65 Westminster St, Bellows Falls, VT 05101). 5pm. This presentation is free and open to the public. For more information contact the Library at 802.463.4270, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at rockinghamlibrary.org.
The Rockingham Free Public Library will host a presentation by Dr. Nolan Higdon, co-author of United States of Distraction: Media Manipulation in Post-Truth America (And What We Can Do About It) on Saturday, March 21 at 5pm.
The role of news media in a free society is to investigate, inform, and provide a crucial check on political power. However, the explosion of social media and targeted analytics means people are increasingly getting their news from a wide swath of sources, some legitimate, many not.
"We have this conundrum where we have more media consumption than ever before in history, but a society that is unable to sift through it," said Dr. Higdon.
United States of Distraction, co-authored by Mickey Huff, focuses on how modern politics successfully exploit media vulnerabilities to campaign and govern. It also explores how the electorate gets their news and the need for media literacy training.
Dr. Nolan Higdon is professor of History and Communication at California State University, East Bay. His academic work primarily focuses on news media, propaganda, critical media literacy, and social justice pedagogies. He has been a guest commentator for news media outlets such as The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox. He is a board member for the Media Freedom Foundation, frequent contributor to Project Censored's annual Censored books series, a co-founder of the Global Critical Media Literacy Project, a program advisor for Sacred Heart University Media Literacy and Digital Culture Graduate Program, a steering committee member for the Union for Democratic Communications, and co-host of the Project Censored radio show and Along the Line podcast.
Sensible Gun Policy Panel: Interpretations and Implications
sponsored by The Windham County Democrats and WindhamVotes!
Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 at Centre Congregational Church (193 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 3pm-4:30pm.
Join us for a panel discussion to share different perspectives on gun policy. Come join the conversation to share your perspective and to understand differing perspectives.
State Senator Becca Balint
Sheriff Mark Anderson
Phil Blackburn - NAMI Vermont
Clai Lasher Sommers – United to Prevent Gun Violence
Ryan Hockerlotz – Gun Rights Advocate
Mother Up! Monthly Meet-Up
Monday March 23rd, 2020 at KidsPLAYce (20 Elliot St., Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-7:30pm. A vegetarian meal and childcare for ages 10 and under will be provided. RSVP is helpful , but not required. Contact Abby Mnookin for more info at email@example.com.
Mother Up!: Families Rise Up for Climate Action is a project of 350Vermont that brings together families to talk about the tough realities of climate change and to participate in the transition to a healthier and safer world.
Critical Mass Bike Ride
hosted by 350 Brattleboro, 350 VT, Brattleboro Community Bike Clinic, and VBike; Image credit: Hugh D'Andrade
Friday, March 27th, 2020 at 134 Elliot (134 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-6:30pm. Questions? Contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We're continuing with our monthly rides on the last Friday of each month. Kids and families welcome! Critical (and "Kidical") Mass rides have a unique way of energizing folks around bike mobility, transportation solutions, and amplifying our collective ability and power to begin reclaiming our streets and communities. We need this, and we need YOU!
5:30pm: We'll be starting AND ending at 134 Elliot St. We'll begin by getting organized, signing in, decorating bikes, and going over our route.
6pm: Begin Critical Mass ride. This will be a high-visibility downtown route!
6:30pm: End ride back at 134 Elliot.
Help us spread the word & make this another successful critical mass ride!
Brattleboro Earth Day: Strike to Street Fair
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020, Marching from Brattleboro Common (Park Place, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) to Elliot Street (Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Questions? email@example.com.
Join 350 Brattleboro and allied area organizations as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, grieve the current climate crisis, and explore climate solutions. We'll meet at Brattleboro Common and then march to Elliot Street for a street fair, including street theatre, puppets, mural painting, music, info tables, trees for planting, and more! More info coming soon.
Climate Café presents
Self Care and the Climate Crisis: Healing the Internal and External Environment
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Sunday, May 3rd, 2020 at the Brattleboro Food Coop (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the Community Room (please use the 7 Canal Street entrance). 1pm-4pm. Please do not park in the Coop parking lot; please park on Canal Street. Reservations Required; please email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot and for more information.
Join Brendan Kelly--acupuncturist, herbalist, author--to hear how the overheating of the planet mirrors a similar overstimulation in our culture and within us individually. Using the lens of Chinese medicine, we’ll discuss how forest fires, melting ice and the rapid warming of the planet speaking to bigger and deeper issues for us personally and collectively. We’ll also discuss the importance of differentiating aspects of self-care and the use of local herbs, diet and lifestyle to address internal and ecological imbalances
Brendan Kelly has been practicing Chinese medicine full-time for 16 years. He currently practices at the clinic he co-founded in Burlington, VT, Jade Mountain Wellness. He teaches Chinese medicine to undergraduate and graduate students at Northern Vermont University/Johnson State College, the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture in FL and Daoist Tradition in NC. In 2015, North Atlantic Books published his first book The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis which uses the lens of Chinese medicine to look at the bigger and deeper issues of global warming.
The Salt of the Earth: The Rhetoric of White Supremacy
hosted by the Vermont Humanities Council and Brooks Memorial Library
presented in partnership with Middlebury College and the Mellon Foundation
Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 at Brooks Memorial Library (224 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 7pm-8:30pm. Part of the Vermont Humanities First Wednesdays free lecture series.
In 2014 in Grand Saline, Texas, a 79-year-old white Methodist minister named Charles Moore set himself on fire as a final protest against the community’s racism. Drawing from his documentary film Man on Fire, Middlebury professor James Sanchez discusses the rhetoric of white supremacy and suggests ways communities might address bigotry.
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.
STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS
Women Veterans Weekly Coffee and Tea Social
Thursday Mornings at Brattleboro Legion Post 5 Inc. (32 Linden Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 9am-10am.
All female veterans are invited to join in the Women Veterans group coffee held at the American Legion. All women veterans are welcome. You do not need to be a Legion member.
Youth 4 Change
Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month from 5:30pm-8pm.
For more information please contact Youth 4 Change at email@example.com.
5:30pm: Drop in homework time and art making
6:30pm: Meeting and Organizing
Youth 4 Change is for local-area youth 12-22 interested in political organizing around local/state/national social justice issues that are important to them. Brattleboro area advocates and educators are holding a space, and assisting youth in building a strong personal tool kit to organize for change. Using a variety of creative methods, we aim to enable youth with tools for resilience, courage and compassion, while fostering their ability to speak up about issues that matter to them, and to take action in the name of love and liberation for all people. Come explore issues of racial, economic and gender justice through art, movement, first-hand accounts and contemplative practices. Connect with area youth around the issues that matter to you and strengthen your tool kit for action!
Windham County NAACP Regular Meetings
Monthly community meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month at The Root Center for Social Justice (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor from 6pm-7pm. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All are welcome.
The meetings are open to anyone interested in racial justice. The Mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
Racial Justice Organizing Meetings Hosted by Lost River and The Root’s BIPOC Caucus
hosted by The Black, Indigenous, & People of Color Caucus and Lost River Racial Justice
4th Monday of Every Month at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:45pm-8pm. Dinner is provided; Childcare is available; Fragrance-free, nut-free, wheelchair accessible space. To learn more visit: http://lostriverracialjustice.org/racial-justice-organizing-meetings/ or contact LostRiverRJ@gmail.com.
All those who wish to join the movement for racial justice are encouraged to attend our monthly RJO meetings. These meetings focus on education, organizing, relationship-building, and collective healing. We work together in a multiracial group as well as in breakout groups for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-identified and white-identified people.
Lost River Racial Justice Working Meeting
hosted by Lost River Racial Justice
2nd Monday of Every Month at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 5:45pm-8pm. Bring a dish to share if you’re able. Please contact us at LostRiverRJ@gmail.com if you need childcare. Fragrance-free, nut-free, wheelchair accessible space.
Lost River is starting a NEW monthly meeting for white-identified people to gather and deepen our work together. We envision this being a space to dig in to the leg work of organizing and responding to community needs, to support each other with our process of unlearning and challenging white supremacy, and to be a place for new people to plug in. We hope you can join us and bring a friend!
ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
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.
STATE OF VERMONT COVID19/CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION
Covid 19/Coronavirus Testing Information: The purpose of this bulletin is to instruct all health insurers that provide comprehensive health care coverage, including non-profit hospital and medical service corporations, health maintenance organizations, association health plans, multiple employer welfare arrangements, student health plans, and governmental plans, to take action related to the potential impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Vermont.
Because knowledge of whether an individual is infected with COVID-19 is critical to limiting their exposure to others—and thus the spread of the disease—the Department is directing insurers to cover any medically necessary COVID-19 testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Vermont Department of Health (VDH), or a laboratory approved by CDC or VDH, with no co-payment, coinsurance, or deductible requirements for members. This includes in-network provider office or urgent care visits and emergency services visits to test for COVID-19. If in-network providers are unavailable to conduct testing for COVID-19, insurers must cover out-of-network testing on the terms outlined above, consistent with Department Regulation 2009-03.
NOTE: WeCAN Admin and State Rep Emilie Kornheiser clarified to the WeCAN Editors that covered testing is extended by the State of Vermont to those without insurance as well.
Current Status in Vermont: First presumptive positive case in Vermont. The adult patient is currently hospitalized and in an airborne infection isolation room. Health officials are investigating the person’s travel and possible exposure history and are conducting contact tracing for anyone who has been in close contact with the person. Those individuals will be assessed for their exposure risk and provided with guidance for their health, and recommendations for self-isolation or other restrictions.
Governor Phil Scott and state officials will hold a press conference at Vermont Emergency Management at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, March 8, 2020, to update Vermonters about the case and state preparedness and response efforts.
Just a reminder: wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water frequently!
Thank you for your continued commitment to your community, WeCAN Family. We look forward to seeing you at an event or meeting in the near future...
Joanna and Leslie