Vt. Announces New Efforts to Assist Those Impacted by Coronavirus Outbreak

The state now has 28 cases of coronavirus, including two deaths

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There are now 28 cases of coronavirus in Vermont, up six from 22 cases on Thursday.

Officials announced the state's first coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday.

Gov. Phil Scott also announced several emergency actions to help residents of his state get through the pandemic. He said he has given the OK to restaurants and bars to serve alcoholic beverages to go. The move comes shortly after New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu adopted a similar policy.

Two elderly Vermonters who had tested positive for the new coronavirus died Thursday, Gov. Phil Scott said.

The state's unemployment office has also tripled its staff in an effort to keep up with the increased demand, and will extend those benefits to family members who are unable to go into work because they are taking care of children, Scott said.

Utility companies will not be able to disconnect services for a customer's nonpayment, and the department of motor vehicles has been moved to online, phone-in and mail service only. And all expired driver's licenses and car registrations will be granted a 90-day extension, Scott said.

Officials are also putting together an interactive map with free WiFi hot spots to help those who are forced to work remotely.

The new cases reported Monday brought the state's total to 12.

Scott announced Thursday afternoon that two elderly people who tested positive for the disease caused by the new coronavirus had died in Vermont.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine noted the deaths came fewer than two weeks after the first coronavirus case was reported in the state.

COVID-19 prompted Scott to declare a state of emergency last week. Schools closed this week in a bid to help slow down the disease's spread.

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