Coronavirus updates

Ludlow ambulance chief describes impact of Covid-19

Stephanie Glover, who suffered first case of Covid-19 in Vermont, speaks to Rotary

By Ralph Pace

At its recent online meeting, the Ludlow Rotary Club (LRC) heard from Stephanie Glover, deputy chief of the Ludlow ambulance service (LAS), about the impact Covid-19 has had on its service. This discussion was all the more significant to Glover since she suffered the first case of Covid-19 in Vermont.

One of the key impacts on LAS was the need to move out of its headquarters on West Hill, which is also the home of the Ludlow Police Department, to implement the “social distancing” requirement mandated by the Governor’s actions. Additionally, to protect both patients and LAS staff, LAS staff members wore personal protective equipment and masks; patients were required to wear masks.

Individual LAS members stored their basic gear separately so that each one of them was protected from using the gear used by another member.

In introducing Stephanie Grover to LRC members attending the Zoom-based meeting, Ludlow Municipal Manager noted she “has been doing a very good job during difficult and unique times. One of her strength has been organizing the LAS staff and managing them effectively during the coronavirus crisis. She has been working closely with Police Chief Billings helping us coordinate our response and preparedness for this critical health emergency.”

Glover indicated that they “were optimistic that the end is near” but that LAS was preparing for “a second wave of Covid-19 cases in the fall and winter.”

During the discussion following Glover’s presentation, a LRC Rotarian offered her insights on the impact of the virus crisis from her home in St Augustine, Florida, were she was preparing her home for subsequent rental use if permitted by the state of Florida.  She offered the following comparison of Covid-19 activity in Florida compared to Vermont:

“While staying in our home in St Augustine Florida in St John’s County with a population of more than 250,0000 with roughly 900 confirmed cases and 4 deaths as of May 12. We drove Route 95 from Vermont to Florida. Rest areas were open, we wore masks and gloves at all stops. No problems and light traffic made for an easy drive. We are here now as the state of Florida has begun to open. Beaches, restaurants, retails all open with social distance guidelines. Restaurants and stores must keep occupancy at 25% of capacity. Outdoor patios tables must be 6 feet apart and we noticed some have screwed the tables into the decking to keep people from being able to move tables and seating. No seating at bars is allowed. We see some people wearing masks in grocery stores etc., but not many. Vacation rentals are not allowed, although the hotels are open.  Since AirBNB and other rental sites such as VRBO and Homeaway platforms are still up and running we are seeing some of our neighbors still renting. Vermont has ordered those platforms to shut down until June 15. Here in Florida those platforms are still up and running and accepting reservations although there is a state mandate on vacation rentals. Hoping they open it soon as our home is fully booked for the summer beginning May 29. We are hoping for the best as we get our home ready for the busy summer rental season but plan to adhere to the state mandate.”

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