Burlington mayor pushes city to be more proactive against COVID-19

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says he wants people in the city to do even more to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

"I think we have to be preparing for a marathon," said Weinberger, D-Burlington, during a Wednesday press conference.

He says he doesn't anticipate this crisis ending in the coming weeks.

Weinberger is urging everyone to heed warnings from the health department and to take Gov. Phil Scott's stay-at-home order seriously.

"The president was wrong to say things are going to be back to normal by Easter. That's not how I see it," said Weinberger, referring to comments made by President Trump earlier this week.

Trump has said he "would love" to have the country "opened up and just raring to go by Easter." Trump has warned that the cure (i.e. an economic slowdown) "is worse than the problem" of COVID-19. But he did note that health experts on the coronavirus task force did not necessarily agree with his timeline.

Some people say they're doing everything they can to keep COVID-19 from spreading, but they don't see the same effort from people around them.

"My co-worker was not taking it serious, wasn't talking about it serious and wasn't being safe with being too close to me," said Burlington resident Diane Deso. "And I need to be careful because I have those young kids at home."

Even those who support Go. Phil Scott's stay-at-home order, effective Wednesday, March 25 at 5 p.m. until April 15, think it came too late.

"We think Vermont's a little behind on all of it," said Brianna Tesei, who is from Connecticut but quarantined in Vermont. "It should've been in effect at least a week ago compared to where I live in Connecticut."

Meanwhile, about 1,000 people laid off from work are feeling the pressure as April first approaches and rent is due.

"I'm not looking forward to paying it, especially knowing there's not another paycheck after that week's," said Gratton Rider of Burlington.

Some of them have tried to file for unemployment insurance, but haven't gotten through to the department of labor.

"I understand everybody else is trying to do the same thing so try a different route," said Troy Laflam of Burlington. "Keep moving."