Bitter business for maple syrup makers amid virus outbreak

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MARSHFIELD, Vt. (AP) The sap has been flowing for weeks in trees in maple country, but syrup sales may not be so sweet amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Restaurants and specialty food shops have closed, sugaring events have been canceled, and maple lovers are staying home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the largest maple-producing state, Vermont’s annual open house weekend usually draws thousands of visitors into producers’ sugar houses. But it was canceled last month, as were similar events in New Hampshire and Maine.

Producers say one sweet result of so many people staying home is an uptick in online sales.

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