Here in Vermont, we have been very fortunate, as this August 26th graph of cases per 100,000, ranked by state, illustrates. We are proud and thankful to be at the very bottom of this graph, and there are a number of theories about why Vermont is doing so well in the battle against coronavirus. We’re used to socially and physically distancing in Vermont, where the entire population of our state, 625,000, is roughly equivalent to the size of many cities in our nation. Governor Phil Scott and Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine have been lauded by many for their steady, calm approach to coping with the pandemic in Vermont, but the Governor credits the people of Vermont who, by and large, wore masks for months before they were mandated in the state.
As a result of our low population density and low rate of coronavirus, many second homeowners in our area are starting to consider Vermont their primary home, at least for the foreseeable future. In addition, according to Zillow, there have been over 400 home/property sales in Windham County since this past March, and local realtors say that there are many more in the pipeline. Any long-term effects of this migration remain to be seen, but the short-term effect is an increase in volume at many area businesses, including Grace Cottage.
Our doors are fully open, and the hospital has been busy with inpatients, none of whom (to date) have had Covid. In the clinic, we continue to keep a separate entrance for respiratory cases, out of an abundance of caution, and we practice enhanced screening and disinfecting procedures. With our new pediatric nurse practitioner Cynthia Howes and Pediatrician Elizabeth Linder, we are seeing more pediatric patients, while we continue to focus on the health and well-being of patients of all ages.
Having swept the Brattleboro Reformer’s Readers’ Choice Awards in the Healthcare category and Best Place to Work, and with more people moving to this area, Grace Cottage is experiencing a growth in volume for which we are well-prepared, thanks to our dedicated and experienced employees. We are proud that we had no furloughs or layoffs due to the coronavirus, and that we have kept our employees and our patients safe. We work hard every day to ensure that this will continue to be the case, as we navigate this new reality together and, we hope, come out of it stronger. The support we have received from our community during this challenging time has been unprecedented, and we are greatly humbled and appreciative.
– Doug DiVello, President & CEO