On April 21 and 28, the Warren Select Board discussed a variety of COVID-19-related topics. Community fund payments, Valley coronavirus infections and fire department infection mitigation strategies were some of the topics discussed.
Jeff Campbell, Warren’s emergency management director, started with a quick Mad River Valley Community Fund (MRVCF) update. The MRVCF, established in 1989, is a nonprofit organization that donates money to Mad River Valley residents in need. “The community fund has given out $100,000 to 140 households in The Valley,” said Campbell at the April 21 meeting.
Next, select board members talked about the mystery surrounding COVID-19 cases in the Mad River Valley. Campbell pointed out that the Vermont Department of Health was not releasing town-specific lists of COVID-19 cases, until April 26, and had only been releasing the number of cases by county.
While the Vermont Department of Health hadn’t released a list of COVID-19 cases by town, the Vermont commissioner of health, Dr. Mark Levine, warned at an April 21 press conference that “any Vermonter would be foolish to think that there’s not a case in their town.”
At the April 21 select board meeting, two select board members admitted to knowing of several cases in The Valley. “I know of a few cases in The Valley area,” said select board member Luke Youmell. “That have tested positive?” asked select board member Camilla Behn. “Yes,” replied Youmell. “I know of two. A husband and wife,” added select board member Bob Ackland.
Eventually the board moved on to discuss a plan to mitigate COVID-19 infection risk for the Warren Volunteer Fire Department. Campbell, a volunteer for the fire department, explained that firefighters have been divided into two teams, an A team and a B team. Within these teams, there are five firefighters that will respond strictly to the village fire department station, and four that will respond to the department’s other station, located at the Lincoln Peak base area of Sugarbush. “That way, if something does happen, we’re not infecting the whole entire group,” said Campbell.
At the board’s April 28 meeting, Warren Library trustees announced that the Warren Library is reopening on Monday, May 4, for curbside pickup. “It’s good to see things slowly getting back to normal again,” said Andy Cunningham in response to the library news.
Finally, the board announced that it is accepting applications to the Warren Planning Commission. “If you are interested in a position on the planning commission, please reach out to the planning commission or the select board. We would be happy to set up an interview,” said Cunningham.