Institutional News

Fauci Lauds Vermont as Model for COVID-19 Response

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' foremost infectious disease expert and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, praised Vermont's COVID-19 response during Governor Phil Scott's September 15 press briefing.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci joins Gov. Phil Scott's COVID-19 Press Briefing

"This should be the model for the country - how you've done it," Fauci said via video call. "Notwithstanding that this is a small state, but it should be the model of how you get to such a low test positivity that you can actually start opening up the economy in a safe and prudent way."

At the start of the press conference, Gov. Scott boasted Vermont's 0.2% positivity rate, currently the lowest in the country. Vermont's phased reopening plan has emphasized these low positivity rates as a criteria for safely reopening businesses and schools.

This should be the model for the country.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

"Listening to the numbers that you said, I would wonder if I could bottle that and take it with me when I go around talking to other parts of the country," Fauci said. "I think one of the things you said in the beginning that's absolutely critical, that I have been emphasizing now for some weeks, is that the success of being able to prudently open is the baseline from which you start."

During the briefing Dr. Fauci took questions from reporters, speaking to COVID-19 concerns as autumn and winter approach and vaccine research and development.

Reports VT Digger, "With summer quickly turning into fall, and winter not too far away, Fauci said the best way to prepare for leaf peepers and winter athletes is to continue following the public health guidelines that have proven to be successful in combating the virus: wearing a mask, keeping a 6-foot distance from others, avoid crowds, and washing hands frequently." 

“It’s going to be challenging as you get into the fall and the winter,” Fauci added, “but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to have a problem — if you do the kind of prudent public health measures that you’ve been doing.”

Bennington College's COVID-19 Response Plan

VT Digger also covered Bennington College's re-opening plan. Currently, there are no active COVID-19 cases on Bennington College's campus; three cases were initially identified through arrival testing, but all have since been medically cleared. More details on Bennington's COVID-19 Response Plan can be found on the COVID-19 webpage.