Governor Jim Douglas yesterday received a letter from Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, James Oberstar (D-MN) commending Vermont for ranking first in nation for “the percentage of wastewater infrastructure Recovery Act funds put out to bid, under contract, and underway.” Vermont has committed all of its wastewater infrastructure funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).“The entire Recovery Act team, from our Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery to the Department of Environmental Conservation, has done a tremendous job ensuring that we are getting these critical infrastructure funds into our communities and creating jobs expeditiously,” said Governor Douglas. “When Congress passed the Recovery Act last year, it was up to the states to implement much of the funding. We are doing our part to get the money into our economy quickly, while being responsible stewards of the public’s resources.”Wastewater infrastructure projects funded through ARRA include the Twin Oaks stormwater project in South Burlington, the combined sewer overflow elimination project in Springfield and a solar panel installation project at the wastewater treatment plant in Montpelier, among others. Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Justin Johnson said of the state’s work, “With a combination of smart work and good sense, Vermont was able to identify good projects and get the stimulus funds obligated quickly and efficiently.”Source: Governor’s office. 5.7.2010###
This city’s Mayor Jerry Treñas announced extending the ECQ –which is supposed to end on April 14 – here until April 30. Treñas, however, has also been urging the Department of Health (DOH) Region 6 to conduct mass testing. ”You can’t fight a virus if you don’t know where it is,” said the WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, recently. “Find, isolate, test and treat every case, to break the chains of transmission. Every case we find and treat limits the expansion of the disease.”/PN Without mass testing, his group believes the importance ofECQ’s role in cutting the chain of virus infection has been blown out ofproportion. ILOILO City – Extending the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in this city, Iloilo province and elsewhere would amount to nothing without mass testing for possible coronavirus disease 2019 (COVI-19) infection, warned a cause-oriented group. Bearing in mind that testing is the basis of public healthdetective work to shut down an epidemic, local chief executives should considercombining mass testing with selective ECQ to balance public health concernswith economic impact to people, according to Elmer Forro, secretary general ofBagong Alyansang Makabayan-Panay (Bayan Panay). The provincial government of Iloilo is inclined to also dothe same, and other provincial governments in Panay Island to follow suit. “Speed is of theessence, and three things are crucial: tracking down cases with symptoms;identifying their household cluster and tracing people they’ve contacted; andquarantining them until they are no longer infectious,” Forro stressed. “We reiterate our support for immediate mass testing of PUIs(patients under investigation), PUMs (persons under monitoring) and allfrontliners, especially health workers. We stand by the advice of world medicalexperts and the best practices of South Korea and China in flattening the curveof the pandemic – that mass testing is the game changer in order to separatethose afflicted by COVID-19 from the healthy population and proper medicalattention given to those who are sick,” said Forro.