Letter: Keep up the fight against COVID-19

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To the Editor:The fight against COVID-19 is far from over. We are at a critical point when elementary, middle school and high schools in southern Vermont reopen, fall foliage is on the horizon and the upcoming flu season is around the bend. So, now is an opportune time to reiterate a message to our entire community; we have to remain vigilant. Despite our past success, Vermont is not immune to this pandemic.As many know, we have had confirmed cases in Manchester and the surrounding areas. However, as a community I am proud to say that we have reacted quickly, and as a result we have avoided some of the larger outbreaks that we heard about nationally. Clearly, part of our success is rooted in our dedicated town personnel, especially our health officer Dr. Thomas Sterling, and excellent health care institutions.The fight against COVID-19 continues, especially for more transient communities with a growing population like ours. To keep our schools open, economy thriving, and community safe, we need every tool at our disposal to fight the invisible enemy. As we head into the fall and winter seasons, it is crucial to implement policies embracing the various tools we currently have to fight this fight. In addition, we ask our community to wear masks, wash your hands, and maintain our physical-distancing policies. Lastly, it is important that we continue our testing efforts in order to quickly identify people with COVID-19, contain potential outbreaks and provide for contact tracing.Outbreaks have occurred in rural, suburban and urban communities, in well-to-do communities and in communities impacted by poverty. Please remember, this pandemic knows no boundaries and does not discriminate. We are all in this together. Keep up the fight and stay vigilant. John O'Keefe,ManchesterThe writer is the Manchester town manager.

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