BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's largest city is lifting its mask mandate for fully vaccinated people in stores and public buildings.
The Burlington City Council on Monday voted unanimously to drop the mandate. Vermont ended its mask mandate for fully vaccinated people on May 14 following federal guidance, but municipalities and establishments could keep their own mask rules.
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger was expected to sign the resolution Tuesday, at which time it goes into effect.
“Giving yet another reason for individuals who have not yet gotten vaccinated to consider doing so,” Weinberger said.
Private businesses can still require employees and customers to wear masks and unvaccinated people must wear masks indoors. Masks also continue to be required on buses, in airports and on planes as well as in schools and healthcare facilities.
In other pandemic-related news:
Vermont's congressional delegation sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to work with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to allow additional travel between the United States and Canada.
In the letter, dated Monday, Sens. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, and Bernie Sanders, an independent, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, also urged the president to work with Trudeau toward fully reopening the border.
The border has been closed to most nonessential travel since March of 2020.
“Families throughout Vermont, especially those in our border communities, have gone well over a year without seeing loved ones across the border," the letter said.
"While negative economic and health impacts of this global pandemic are far from over, enabling more people to reconnect, work, and resume daily routines when it is safe to do so will go a long way to addressing these dual crises,” they said.
VACCINATION RATE MAP
The state of Vermont is now providing an online data map showing the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations by town.
The map shows the percentage of eligible Vermonters ages 12 and older who have received at least one dose of vaccine. It will be updated every week on Thursdays, the Health Department said.
Vaccinations may not be attributed to the correct town in some cases, such as if a person registers with their mailing address that is in a different town than their physical location, the Health Department said.
Gov. Phil Scott has said he will lift all pandemic restrictions in Vermont before the Fourth of July if 80% of the eligible population gets at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Scott said as of Monday morning, the rate was at 79.2%.
On Tuesday, the Vermont Department of Health reported 13 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to just 24,300.
There were two people hospitalized, including one in intensive care.
The state has reported one COVID-19 fatality since mid-May, keeping the statewide total at 256.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 30.71 new cases per day on May 23 to 8.86 new cases per day on June 6.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 0.43 deaths per day on May 23 to 0.14 deaths per day on June 6.