By MIKE DONOGHUE
Islander Staff Writer
The town of Alburgh saw another uptick in COVID positive cases with 16 new cases reported last week, the Vermont Health Department is reporting.
Alburgh had 70 cases reported as of March 24. A week earlier the town had reported 54 cases since March 5, 2020. There had been two deaths in Grand Isle County.
Last Friday the Vermont Health Department had reported 251 statewide positive cases -- the largest single daily report since the deadly pandemic reached Vermont a year ago.
The Health Department also reported that half of the new cases statewide were for people under the age of 30. There were only a handful for those residents age 65 and up.
Gov. Phil Scott told The Islander on Tuesday at his news conference that the state does hope to soon begin requiring Vermonters, who are receiving unemployment benefits, to return to work if offered jobs. If they refuse to take the job offer the unemployment benefits would be in jeopardy, Scott said.
The hospitality industry, especially bars and restaurants are reporting it is difficult to get former or new employees to fill vacancies because the state is offering $700 a week and it is tax free.
The Islander has heard from several business in the northwest corner of the state that the incentive for some workers, including cooks, dishwashers and others at local establishments to return to work has been diminished or eliminated.