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Burlington Police report no concerns with college student compliance

(WCAX)
Published: Jun. 7, 2020 at 7:06 PM EDT
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Burlington Police say there have been little to no issues with returning college students complying with the governor's safety orders.

Police patrols have increased around the Burlington area as college students return to Vermont or try to get out and enjoy the nice weather. Police say the patrols are to enforce state coronavirus guidelines, but also to also meet with students returning and spending the summer in the Queen City.

Burlington Deputy Police Chief Jon Murad says there have been little to no issues with students complying with the rules.

"Frankly, we use them as an opportunity to interact with students, especially when there are gatherings of students to remind them of the policies that are in place. We believe that the students in the hill are doing their best to maintain these rules and to follow these rules which are really in place for everyone's safety and everyone's health," he said.

North Beach in Burlington has seen large numbers of students on warmer days. Lizzie Hill of St. Albans was out with some friends Sunday and said they have all been very good about keeping to themselves.

"We self-quarantine, so I feel really safe around them like coming out together," she said.

Two of the five-person group are from out-of-state, making their self-quarantine all the more crucial. Hill says those friends got tested once they came to Vermont. Other students, like Andrew Michalik from Massachusetts, say they purposely keep their distance from others so they can be outside.

"Our friend Rebecca's moving in up here so we're moving her stuff in," Michalik said. "We've kind of just been camping in the woods for the past couple of days, so we haven't been in contact with too many people at all."

Although students have been out enjoying the weather, both the police and the students themselves say that they've been doing all they can to follow the health guidelines.

"I haven't seen groups bigger than 10," Hill said,

"I don't believe that we've seen groups that exceed the rules as they're currently stated," said Murad. "I don't think we've taken any enforcement action about that."

He says he hopes this trend of students keeping themselves and other Vermonters safe continues and that education, rather than enforcement, will be all that's needed.

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