How much should people be told about COVID in their communities?
We have an update on a Rutland County COVID cluster. We know a dozen people are sick and the state says they all work at the same Fair Haven business, but they won't tell us which one. Our Olivia Lyons has reaction from the community.
I spent most of the day in Fair Haven chatting with community members. It seems as though their feelings about the cluster are very divided.
"How come there are no actual notices going out?" wondered Michael Wright of Fair Haven.
Wright is asking for better communication. He had not even heard about the cluster until I asked him.
"There is no paperwork in the mail that says, 'Hey, this is what's going on in your area. This is what we suggest you guys do,'" Wright said.
Reporter Olivia Lyons: Do you think the town should let people know more information?
Gary Ikerd/Fair Haven: No.
By speaking with people in town, the community is split. Some people say it is worrisome, while others do not. Some people believe the town should be giving out more information while others say it really is not anyone's business except those who are directly affected.
"I try not to think about it too much. There's only so much you can do, like we carry our PPE equipment," said John Plunkett of Fair Haven.
"People should be concerned," said Bob Richards, the chairman of the Fair Haven Select Board. "I think they should take the precautions that have been suggested."
Richards says people have called asking the board to shut down the rumored business. Richards says he doesn't think the board has that power, but there will be discussions for the next steps at the upcoming town meeting.
"I don't think we can order everyone in town to wear masks. We'll just encourage that more than they have in the past," he said.
Due to the cluster, Fair Haven is hosting a state-sponsored pop-up COVID testing site in the park this Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
"To keep everybody safe around the community, everybody needs to be tested and stop the business for now," Ikerd said.
The town clerk told me she has received multiple phone calls about the cluster and the pop-up test site this weekend. Some people have questions, while others are concerned the screening will bring possibly sick people into the area.