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Scott announces new child care assistance program

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:16 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:13 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Back-to-school preparations are moving forward in Vermont with coronavirus cases remaining under control across the state. Friday, the governor announced more money to help keep critical child care operations afloat and greenlighted fall sports. Our Calvin Cutler has the details.

Schools are opening in a month and across the state, there will be a need for child care.

State leaders are rolling out $12 million in grants for child care providers, bringing the state's child care support to $33 million to date.

“This will help child care providers with losses and additional expenses due to COVID-19,” said Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont.

They can use the money to offset investments and losses.

Applications are open now through Aug. 26; award notices are anticipated by Sept. 11. People can apply through the DCF website.

SCHOOL SPORTS

Also, it's game on for Vermont students as the state is giving the greenlight for fall sports to start on September 8.

State leaders say the sports will look a lot different and that they're still working on guidance for high contact sports.

This also applies to recreational and league sports.

“This won’t be a normal season but our goal is to offer a path forward for each of these sports to give our kids a sense of normalcy in these abnormal times,” Scott said.

INFECTED INMATES IN MISSISSIPPI

Meanwhile, 1,500 miles away in Mississippi, Vermont doctors are assessing every Vermont inmate after 146 Vermont prisoners tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility.

"From an operational standpoint, an early evaluation indicates that the proper protocols appear to be followed, including the medical isolation of the 146 inmates," Vermont interim Corrections Commissioner Jim Baker said.

But the prison, operated by the private company CoreCivic, wasn't following Vermont guidelines before. Baker says CoreCivic lacked testing capacity and that they didn't understand the gravity of the situation.

He says there are high numbers of COVID cases surrounding that facility, so widespread testing is necessary to contain the outbreak. He says officials may return next week depending on what the team there now discovers.

As Vermont mulls over renewing the contract with CoreCivic, Baker says his trust level with the company is rising.

Baker also said that there are too many logistical hurdles in bringing the inmates home to Vermont. He says it would cut back on bed space and the ability to quarantine inmates if needed.

The commissioner says families of prisoners there who have questions can get answers by contacting the DOC. There’s information on the department’s website.

147 Vermont inmates in Mississippi prison infected with COVID-19

Scott says he should have seen inmate outbreak coming

Changes in Mississippi prison where Vermont inmates tested positive for COVID-19

85 Vermont inmates at Mississippi prison test positive for COVID-19

6 inmates returned to Vermont test positive for COVID-19

REOPENING DMV OFFICES

The governor says the state is still looking at how to open DMV offices safely. He points out that they can be cramped spaces with lots of people waiting for long periods of time.

Vermonters still facing roadblocks with DMV delays

You can watch the governor’s full news briefing below.

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