MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — An overview of COVID-19 developments in Vermont on Tuesday:
STUDENT LOAN ASSISTANCE
The state of Vermont is taking part in a multi-state initiative to help thousands of people across the state with privately held student loans, the state announced Tuesday.
The relief will expand on protections provided by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation and to federal student loan holders through the coronavirus relief package.
“With this initiative, we can expand these relief options to more Vermonters,” Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said in a news release announcing the program.
Student loan holders who need help should contact their student loan servicer or lender. It can provide a variety of options, including delaying payments for a minimum of 90 days, protections from negative credit reporting and ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days.
The number of new cases of COVID-19 reported in Vermont increased by two to a total of 818 cases, the Vermont Health Department said in its daily update posted on its website. There have been 40 deaths.
The increase reported Tuesday was the smallest since the earliest days of the COVID-19 epidemic in early March.
Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said Monday the small increase shows the number of cases have plateaued in Vermont.
The Vermont Department of Labor will be holding a number of virtual town halls this week to help Vermonters whose jobs have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, officials will review the application process for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides unemployment benefits for people who were not previously eligible. Other virtual meetings will focus on basic unemployment claims and claims for the self-employed.
Details can be found on the department’s website.
The Board of Trustees of the Vermont State College system is planning an emergency meeting Tuesday evening to continue its discussion about the future of the system.
Under a proposal announced by Chancellor Jeb Spaulding on Friday, the two campuses of Northern Vermont University in Johnson and Lyndon and the campus of Vermont Technical College in Randolph, which has another campus in Williston, would close. Liberal arts programs in Johnson and Lyndon would be moved to Castleton University.
Medical students from the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine are working to collect unused personal protective from dentists, non-medical labs, secondary schools and other organizations that are currently closed or operating at a reduced levels.
The equipment would be donated to health care providers at the UVM Medical Center.