Norwich increases precautions

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/15/2021 9:31:13 PM
Modified: 11/15/2021 9:31:10 PM

NORWICH — Town buildings are closed to the public, a bake sale has been canceled and several Marion Cross School classes are in quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns in Norwich.

Tracy Hall has been closed to the public since Thursday, according to a notice on the town’s website authorized by Rod Francis, Norwich’s interim town manager. In addition, non-essential in-person meetings and activities have been canceled until further notice. Town business is being conducted by mail, phone, email or other technological means, though residents can schedule essential 15-minute meetings with town staff.

Winter farmers markets from December to April will not be happening in Tracy Hall due to COVID-19 concerns, according to the market’s website. A Thanksgiving market is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside at the farm ers market grounds on Route 5.

Elsewhere in town, American Legion Post 8 canceled a bake sale planned for Sunday, Nov. 21, according to a Listserv post by Demo Sofronas.

“After considering what kind of impact the current COVID outbreak could have on the turnout for the Bake Sale, the Executive Board decided to put it on hold and discuss our options for a later date at the Dec. 6 meeting,” Sofronas wrote.

Meanwhile, five classes at Marion Cross School in Norwich were in quarantine due to five cases confirmed last Thursday, according to a message SAU 70 Superintendent Jay Badams sent to families last week. The affected classes include the pre-K, first grade, third grade, fourth grade and sixth grade.

Vermont requires that close contacts — those who have spent at least 15 minutes near someone who is infectious during a 24-hour period — quarantine for 14 days following exposure or get tested on day 7 and return following a negative test. Though Marion Cross has applied to participate in Vermont’s Test to Stay program, which allows close contacts to remain in school while they remain healthy and test negative, there have been delays in setting up the program, Badams said.

“To continue to keep students in schools, we urge you to have your child vaccinated as soon as possible,” Badams wrote. “We are seeing few cases in schools where our vaccination rates are high.”

Badams attributed many of the recent cases to unmasked playdates, celebrations, sleepovers, social events and family transmission.

He encouraged families to wear masks, practice physical distancing and wash hands when gathering with others. He also urged those with signs of illness to stay home and get tested for COVID-19.

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at or 603-727-3213.

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