Legislative Update
Federal and state regulatory agencies continue to flex licensing and other requirements to help health care providers and others respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

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VDH COVID-19 Update: Cases increase by 24 to 235, no deaths
Vermont Business Magazine

The Vermont Department of Health reported Sunday afternoon that the number of positive cases of COVID-19 increased by 24 and there are now 235 cases. There were no new deaths. Vermonters are being asked to stay home as much as possible to keep everyone safe during this pandemic. Please leave for essentials only, such as food, and keep a safe distance of six feet between yourself and others. This will help slow the spread of the virus and protect people who are more vulnerable.

Senate Passes $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

As of Wednesday evening, there were 65,000 diagnosed cases of the highly contagious virus in the U.S. and more than 900 deaths.

"The legislation now before us is historic because it is meant to match a historic crisis," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The plan marks the largest rescue package in American history. The legislation covers an array of programs, including direct payments to Americans, an aggressive expansion of unemployment insurance, billions of dollars in aid to large and small businesses, and a new wave of significant funding for the health care industry.

Vermont House Passes Emergency Coronavirus Bills After Procedural Delay
Seven Days

The Vermont House passed a package of emergency bills Wednesday to help the state deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 virus, but only after the effort was thrown into disarray by a lawmaker who demanded a quorum be present for the vote. 

The parliamentary move forced dozens of legislators to rush to the Statehouse to pass bills House leadership had hoped — to reduce the risk of infection from the rapidly spreading coronavirus — a handful could address. 

Ultimately, 94 House members drove to the Statehouse, filtered into the chamber and — many wearing masks, bandanas and scarves over their mouths — passed the bills nearly unanimously. 

The irony of having more than 100 lawmakers, staff and media crowding into the House chamber to address a growing pandemic when Gov. Phil Scott had called for people to stay home and not gather in groups of more than 10 was plain. 
Patients at Burlington nursing facility moving to DoubleTree hotel amid COVID-19 outbreak
Burlington Free Press

Due to a growing number of positive tests for the coronavirus and multiple deaths attributable to the outbreak, a long-term care facility in Burlington is temporarily transferring some patients to a nearby hotel.

Approximately 10 patients at the Burlington Health and Rehab nursing facility will move to "appropriately adapted rooms" at the DoubleTree by Hilton Burlington, according to a daily update on COVID-19 from the Vermont Department of Health.

University of Vermont Medical Center clinicians will care for the discharged residents at the hotel, categorized as "short-term rehabilitation patients," who have not tested positive for the virus and are without symptoms, according to a news release. 

1-man factory makes face shields for SVMC
The Bennington Banner

Since Monday, Adam Cannistraci has been spending about six hours a day making face shields for the local hospital. He can produce a dozen pieces each day, using six 3D printers at the Southwest Vermont Career Development Center.

Before the state ordered schools to temporarily close because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the 27-year-old Woodford resident was teaching SVCDC students about the manufacturing process. After the technical education center shut its doors March 16, an administrator received an email from a community member who suggested SVCDC should create personal protective equipment for health care providers.

Hospitals handling coronavirus cases are facing a dwindling supply of personal protective equipment — such as gloves, face masks and isolation gowns. But Cannistraci was initially skeptical they would want what he described as "makeshift" equipment.

He got in touch with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center about providing the Bennington hospital with face shields, and got a positive reply. "They said, 'Yeah, we'll take whatever you can give us,'" Cannistraci said in a phone interview.

Hospitals adapt for the coronavirus
The Brattleboro Reformer

Vermont hospitals are putting a priority on dealing with the coronavirus and are mandated to suspend non-essential surgeries and procedures.

"Like all hospitals, we are preparing for an increase in volume of COVID-19 patients and have taken many actions in this regard," Gina Pattison, director of development and marketing at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, wrote in an email response to the Reformer.

On Monday night, Pattison said the hospital had enough tests to keep up with demand for now.

"However, there's not an easy answer since we don't know how many people will get sick and therefore, how many will be enough," she said.

The hospital also had enough masks at the time. Pattison said staff members are all using personal protective equipment responsibly.

"We have had an outpouring of support from the community asking if they can provide handmade masks, which we very much appreciate and will accept," she said.

100 academic medical center CEOs to know | 2020
Becker's Hospital Review

Academic medical centers play an important role in the healthcare system today, both in caring for patients across the country and devoting resources to research and innovation for the next generation of treatment.

This list features 100 executives who lead academic medical centers and health systems across the country. The leaders highlighted here are responsible for large, often multisite institutions that provide cutting-edge technology and clinical trials.

Included is UVM Medical Center president Stephen Leffler.