Thank you to all our frontline volunteers.Thank you to everyone that has been in touch with feedback about the State’s COVID-19 response. Last weekend, the Essex State Reps held a virtual town hall. We appreciated hearing from those who joined. Both Rep. Houghton and I have been fielding your questions and sharing updates as they become available. Please be in touch if we can be of assistance.

The COVID-19 crisis continues to challenge states and local communities in our region. We’ve seen cases steadily increase across Vermont. On Friday, the Governor announced the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order is extended through May 15. This means non-essential activities will remain suspended to slow transmission of the virus. The Administration signaled it will provide updated guidance on what constitutes essential activities on a case-by-case basis.

I know the continuation of the stay home order is frustrating for those who want things to get back to normal. We’ve heard from businesses, workers, and families who are struggling to adjust to the disruption the COVID crisis has caused. You may be wondering why we need a stay home order? The most recent State projections shed light on the rationale: while our individual and collective social distancing actions are slowing the spread of COVID-19, the latest data make clear pressures on our healthcare system will rise as the virus spreads. Staying home is the best way to ensure our healthcare professionals have capacity to treat patient needs through the crisis.

In the House Education Committee, on which I serve, we continue hearings to learn how our schools are implementing distance learning. Schools are closed for the remainder of the academic year. I know how difficult this adjustment has been for families in our community. It’s also been challenging for our educators, who have had to change how they teach kids, transitioning much of their work online. I want to thank everyone who has been part of this effort.

This is an unprecedented moment. After a month of major lifestyle changes, it’s easy to feel unsettled. Please know that your State Reps are working with our federal, state, and local partners to find solutions and keep you informed. You are welcome to reach out any time. I can be reached at (802) 734-8841 or at [email protected]

Thank you.

Rep. Dylan Giambatista