State officials described Vermont as entering the next phase of the COVID response with a focus now on recovery

State officials described Vermont as entering the next phase of the COVID response with a focus now on recovery. During the state’s media briefing, the officials described how Vermont is transitioning to helping individuals and organizations to undo some of the effects and consequences that resulted from the pandemic mitigation measures.Agency of Human Services Secretary Jenney Samuelson said Vermont had reached a new phase where the risk of severe disease and death is much lower. She said AHS will now pivot to focusing on combating an increase in substance abuse and use, as well as rising mental health challenges that were exacerbated by the pandemic. AHS will also look to help stabilize the health care system and its workforce as well as ensure Vermont families are receiving needed support, especially with housing and food.