Governor Phil Scott has tested negative for COVID-19. As his most recent potential exposure occurred at Tuesday’s briefing, in accordance with Vermont Department of Health guidance, he will continue to fulfill his duties while in quarantine and will be tested again on Tuesday, January 26.
“Everyone from the Administration currently in quarantine is feeling good and remains focused on our pandemic response,” the governor said. “We appreciate the expressions of support and we will keep everyone updated, every step of the way.”
The governor’s office reported earlier:
Governor Scott, Health Commissioner Mark Levine, M.D., and Financial Services Commissioner Mike Pieciak, who participated in Tuesday’s press conference, are all quarantining due to their close proximity to the COVID-positive individual. Human Services Secretary Mike Smith and Public Safety Commissioner Mike Schirling are also quarantining due to their proximity to the positive case on Friday, January 15. Communications Director Rebecca Kelley, and former Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon are also quarantining as a precaution. Lauzon was a guest speaker at Tuesday’s briefing. None are experiencing symptoms and will continue to work remotely. Others not connected to the Administration may also be quarantining, per contact tracing recommendations.
There has been no impact on daily operations of the Governor’s office or the ability of the Governor to perform his duties. Governor Scott is completing his quarantine in his Montpelier office, which includes a small apartment.
17 individuals were in attendance at each of the media briefings, with a total of 21 impacted. All have been reached by the Department of Health’s contact tracing team, and the standard contact tracing process is underway. Given the distancing and masking protocols in place, most participants are not considered a close contact.
Online newspaper launches video news program, “the Ericka Redic Show”
The first episode of “The Ericka Redic Show,” a Vermont Daily online video news program, is now available on YouTube.
“We’ll be covering the news out of Montpelier and around the state, and why it matters to you,” host Ericka Redic of Burlington announced in the opening moments of Episode One.
Redic, her husband and videographer Ben, and Vermont Daily publisher Guy Page plan to produce the show weekly at first, adding frequency as demand and production bandwidth grows. Vermont Daily provides the news content, which Ericka and Ben transform into a lively video news format. The first episode, about eight minutes long, covers concerns about conflict of interest and white supremacy surrounding the Vermont Climate Council.
Redic, an accountant, improv comedian, and 2020 candidate for the Vermont Senate, has trained as a news announcer in Los Angeles. Ben is a cinemaphotographer and fight choreographer.
Redic says her love for reporting the news goes back to her childhood in Milton.
“I remember sitting in my dad’s lap watching Dan Rather and Peter Jennings talking about the Iran Contra affair. I even interviewed the President of Rowley Fuels after an oil spill in the Lamoille River in my hometown of Milton – in elementary school,” she said. She grew up performing on stage, from gymnastics recitals at 6 to competitive comedic improv in her 30’s. The married couple moved to Los Angeles in part so that she could study TV host training with world-renowned coach Marki Costello.
She and Ben are the two-person team behind “Generally Irritable,” a Facebook video series focusing on Burlington and Vermont problems and solutions. As a news host, “I have three major things going for me,” Redic said. “First, I am naturally a ham. Second, I have a knack for public speaking. Third, I have an amazingly supportive husband who is a cinematographer.”
Her drive to report the news comes from the heart. “I’ve always had a heart to fight for the underdog and a passion for politics. In a democracy it is our duty to hold each other accountable and take care of one another,” she said.
Redic has volunteered locally with Women Helping Battered Women, Women’s Rape Crisis Center, Vermont Freedom to Marry, and has served on the Board of the Vermont Victim/Survivor of Crime Council. “Through this work, I had the opportunity to make a difference in my community as well as influence policy changes at the local and state level,” she said.
Page suggested the idea to Redic in a phone call in November, shortly after the election. “Ericka and Ben together offer a terrific combination of on-air presence and high standards for production values,” said Page, who went to work for the Burlington Free Press in 1979 and has worked in the Vermont newspaper industry since then, except for a 10-year stint as a Vermont State House lobbyist. “On air, I look and sound like what I am – an old-fashioned newspaper guy. Ericka has the ability to communicate with a young, online, video-minded audience.”
“With the Vermont Legislature going all-Zoom this year, it’s important that Vermonters have access to news reporting that can republish significant moments in state government and legislative meetings,” Page said. “For example, in the first episode, State of Vermont Executive Director for Racial Equity Xusana Davis can be seen and heard calling out the state’s carbon emissions reduction deadlines as ‘tools of white supremacy.’ To my knowledge, that aspect of Vermont’s war on carbon hasn’t been covered elsewhere in the Vermont media, except Vermont Daily.”
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