NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont business owner is seeking a new trial in his fight against the state's mask mandate during the pandemic.

Andre Desautels, the owner of Derby Port Press in Newport, was sued by the state after he refused to wear masks in his store, which offers printing services and was also a pickup spot for packages. In February, United Parcel Service Inc. severed its relationship with the store, saying it refused to comply with the company’s uniform policy, which includes wearing masks.

Police and the Vermont attorney general’s office had warned him several times to comply with the emergency orders or face fines, the Caledonian-Record reported. Desautels argued that the mask mandate was unconstitutional.

Last month, a Vermont judge upheld the state’s mask mandate and a hearing on potential fines is pending.

Desautels has hired a new lawyer who filed a motion last week seeking another trial, with complaints about how Desautels' former lawyer handled the case, the newspaper reported.


Vermont reported 29 cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday for a statewide total since the pandemic began of over 21,480 cases.

Four new deaths were reported for a total of 237 to date.

According to the state Health Department, 29 people were hospitalized, with four in intensive care.

The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 168.00 new cases per day on March 29 to 145.00 new cases per day on April 12.