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Signs warn visitors of Vermont quarantining requirements

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 6:22 PM EST
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NORWICH, Vt. (WCAX) - Getting people to abide by Vermont’s rules about quarantines and socializing starts by getting the word out. As Adam Sullivan reports, that includes new road signs.

“The highway signs are one piece of a larger strategy,” said Vt. Deputy Commerce Secretary Ted Brady.

The signs on the way in and out of Vermont refer travelers to Vermont’s online resource for COVID-19. The website is promoted weekly at Governor Phil Scott’s press conferences. Behind the scenes, information -- like cars on the road -- is constantly changing. “Whether it be from drive signs on the highway, whether it be from social media accounts, your local newspaper, the radio, everywhere. We are trying to hit Vermonters where they get the news,” Brady said.

And that includes at the local level. “People watch the news, people do get it from the listserv, people do get it from Facebook. People are trying to do the right thing,” said Dan Fraser, the owner of Dan and Whit’s General store in Norwich. He sends out a daily blast on the local listserv, an online forum for the Upper Valley.

“Sometimes people come in and they forget their mask. But there are other people who come in who purposely don’t wear a mask, so it is just sort of trying to find that balance,” Fraser said.

Vermont’s COVID-19 cases continue to spike, but not nearly at the level of other states. Fraser says that’s an indication people are getting the message. “As everyone says over and over again -- why Vermont is doing so well. People are really conscientious about it. People realize, especially looking at the rest of the nation,” he said.

The education extends far beyond Vermont’s borders. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development is on the eve of launching a million-dollar ad campaign across New England and beyond. “Which is the equivalent to an entire annual spend for our Department of Tourism in our drive market -- Philadelphia north -- to educate them about what is going on,” Brady said.

In a typical year, those ad dollars would be used to promote the state and all of its beauty. Just another stark contrast for the year 2020.

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