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Scott provides clarity, modification on social gathering restrictions

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 8:46 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2020 at 2:01 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Governor Phil Scott Friday provided some clarifications and revisions to last week’s restrictions on social gatherings but again urged Vermonters to remain vigilant as daily case counts continue to mount.

“We need people to limit their contacts with others. While I know this is hard, and after eight months people think they’ve figured out how to get together with others, but that’s just not the case,” Scott said.

Scott said there are some exceptions to the rules he announced last Friday. Those who are in a dangerous or unhealthy situation can leave and seek shelter in a different place. And those who live alone are allowed to gather with one other household. Neighbors are also allowed to take a walk, hike, or bike with one trusted friend, but they must still keep their distance and wear masks. “There was some significant question about that and we wanted to inject some common sense and make sure people that wanted to walk together and bike together or hike together could do so, but no more than two at a time,” Scott said.

Asking Vermonters to adjust their behavior and change everything they know about the holiday season is a tough ask. We asked if people are changing their behavior. ”I feel like I’m more changing my attitude. I feel more like it did back in April and it’s just reminding me that we have to be vigilant,” said Susan Clark of Middlesex.

Ultimately, the goal of the restrictions is to curb community spread and avoid the closure of workplaces and schools. State leaders remain optimistic that if Vermonters follow the guidance and avoid gatherings this holiday season, those goals can be accomplished. “With a little patience and a lot of compliance, I’m hopeful that we can make a real difference. We’ve done it before and we can certainly do it again,” said Vt. Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.

Officials say if we continue to flatten the curve until a vaccine is available, next year’s holidays will be even more worth celebrating with family.

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