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Vermont Looks to Reopen Indoor Dining

Gov. Phil Scott hopes to announce details to resume indoor dining Friday, he said in a Wednesday press conference.

Gov. Phil Scott, looking to resume indoor dining in Vermont, indicated that he will make an official announcement Friday.

"When we get to indoor dining it will be a very controlled opening at first with a focus on physical distance," Scott said. "We still have a very long way to go to help our restraints get back on their feet but we’ve got to start somewhere and that’s what we’re going to announce Friday."

The Scott Administration is also working on a plan to allow out-of-staters to visit Vermont eateries without having to quarantine for 14 days, which they are currently required to do. Officials are also analyzing the health and safely risks associated with increasing capacity at lodging facilities and campgrounds.

"Nothing about the virus is ideal," Scott said. "We’re doing all we can to open as much as we can, as safely as we can."

Scott urged the Legislature to take up an economic relief package submitted last week, which includes emergency relief for businesses hit hard by the closures associated with the coronavirus crisis.

Vt. Gov. Scott wants to use federal funds to send a lifeline to businesses hit hard by the pandemic

Health officials had reported 988 cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Tuesday, including 55 fatalities.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine said the state has deployed additional testing in Winooski, Vt., where a coronvirus outbreak of about 10-20 cases is being reported. More details are forthcoming, Levine said.

On Monday, Scott said the state would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to administer driver's permits and license tests, and that outdoor dining may soon resume.

Scott also signed an executive order Monday to establish a racial equity task force in response to the social unrest over police brutality and racial inequality sweeping throughout the nation. He named a director who will finalize appointments so the board can begin working "as soon as possible," according to Scott.

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