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White River Junction VA will hold booster shot clinics for veterans next week

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/1/2021 9:28:58 PM
Modified: 11/1/2021 9:29:02 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The White River Junction VA Medical Center is set to begin COVID-19 booster shot clinics next week.

The White River Junction VA is prepared to give Moderna booster shots to veterans beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Freedom Building in rooms 103 A and B, which are on the back side of the conference room. Shots will continue to be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (except on Thanksgiving).

In addition to the Moderna clinics, beginning on Nov. 9 the VA will have Johnson & Johnson/Janssen booster shots available through its primary care clinic. Boosters are recommended for everyone who had a J&J shot at least two months ago.

Veterans can schedule a booster shot by calling 802-296-5151.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends offering a single-dose COVID-19 booster to people who completed an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series, Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, six or more months ago and who are:

■65 years and older;

■18 or older and living in long-term care settings;

■18 or older and have underlying medical conditions;

■18 or older and work or live in high-risk settings such as a healthcare or assisted living facility.

The CDC also approved a “mix and match option” for people who completed a series in Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen to choose another vaccine as a booster.

Unvaccinated close contacts could face lengthy quarantine

CLAREMONT — SAU 6 officials are asking students, families and employees in the Claremont area to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to avoid what can be lengthy quarantines, which add up to a lot of missed school.

Superintendent Michael Tempesta, in a web alert posted to SAU 6’s website, notified families of a new requirement from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services that unvaccinated people who cannot quarantine apart from a member of their household who has tested positive must quarantine for 20 days.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated household members who can quarantine in a separate place from their COVID-positive relative are required to quarantine for only 10 days, according to the alert.

In contrast, vaccinated people who live with someone who tests positive are not required to quarantine due to an exposure, Tempesta wrote. Instead, vaccinated people who have been exposed are required to wear masks for 14 days, or test negative for COVID-19 on the 5th, 6th or 7th day following the last exposure to the positive case.

Twin State colleges see COVID-19 cases

HANOVER — As of Monday, Dartmouth College had 14 active cases of COVID-19, including one cluster of three cases in undergraduates.

There were five student cases and four cases in employees.

Dartmouth had 16 new cases for the week ending Monday. Twenty-one people were in isolation housing. More than 93% of the college’s students and employees have been fully vaccinated.

Both the University of Vermont and the University of New Hampshire have had recent cases well into the double digits.

UVM had 61 new cases in the week that ended Sunday. Meanwhile, UNH had 26 cases during that week.

Vermont state workers return to offices

MONTPELIER (AP) — Thousands of Vermont state employees returned to their offices on Monday for the first time since the start of the pandemic but some will continue working from home in some form.

On Monday, the telework policies for state employees went from informal to formal, WCAX-TV reported. As of Friday, 2,800 state employees, or about 30%, have been approved for telework, with many opting for a hybrid model, averaging about three days a week remotely.

On Monday, Sheila Sayha was back at her office after working from home for the last year and a half.

“It definitely had its ups and downs,” she said. “I didn’t have my standing workstation, and that was kind of tough.”

Nearby, Harold Schwartz said he had mixed feelings about returning, balancing his 30-minute commute with the benefits of in-person interactions, the news station reported.

“I like seeing the people in the office, so that’s nice, too,” he said.

The Vermont State Employees Association wanted to push back the deadline for people to return to their offices until Jan. 1 to let the delta wave of the coronavirus run its course and to allow time for kids to get vaccinated.

“I think a lot of people are concerned about what happens when kids are quarantined and they don’t have child care. I don’t know how that’s going to work under the governor’s policy,” Howard said.

More than 88% of state employees are vaccinated and unvaccinated people have to wear masks and get tested.

“If there is an incident where an employee has to stay home where their child may have to quarantine, a supervisor has the flexibility to say if you can telework, telework,” said Vermont Human Resources Commissioner Beth Fastiggi. “Otherwise, you would take a sick day.”

Scenic railroad won’t operate Santa Express

LINCOLN, N.H. (AP) — A company that offers old-fashioned train rides along Lake Winnipesaukee and the Pemigewasset River says it won’t operate its annual Santa Express Trains this season because of rising COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire.

The Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad said in news release Monday it hopes to offer the holiday trips, during which participants meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, next year. The Santa Express trains run from Lincoln.

The railroad still plans to reopen for its regular season next year in mid-May.

“The railroad had planned to make Santa Express Train tickets available in early November, but due to Covid-19 positivity rates trending upward, we felt it best to hold off on ticket sales due to the surrounding uncertainty,” railroad manager Benjamin Clark said.

Last week, Dr. Benjamin Chan, state epidemiologist, said the state continues to have a high or substantial level of community transmission, averaging 500 to 550 new infections per day with a test positivity rate around 6%.

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