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The Virus Sent Droves to a Small Town. Suddenly, It’s Not So Small.

Now that the family is settled in another home, she is glad she made the effort. At the Mountain School, the private school where her children started this month, there are 39 new students in a student body of 83, nearly all from what Colleen Palmer, the head of school, calls “Covid families.” They have brought with them, she said, “a real influx of terrific energy, enthusiasm, vitality, diversity.”

The Stratton Mountain School, a nearby prep school specializing in snow sports, began the year with 57 new students. Carson Thurber, the head of school, was equally effusive.

“As a lifelong Vermonter, it’s one of the most amazing silver linings I can imagine,” he said. “Now it’s our responsibility, and the state’s responsibility, and all those individuals who have influence, to keep them here.”

As for Ms. White, she has found herself wondering how all these remote workers — many in tech or finance — will change the social fabric. The other night, at the Red Fox Inn, a bar in Winhall, she approached a couple she had seen around town, asking them, simply, “Covid refugees?” The answer was yes.

“She was Australian, he was from Brooklyn,” she said. “He was into cryptocurrencies, he was starting this company that was going public on the Norwegian stock market this week. I don’t remember people like that when I was in high school.”

For the newcomers — and for the state — the question is whether they will stay, since many companies only allowed remote working on a temporary basis.

State officials will have a better sense of how many people have moved into the state in a few weeks, after gathering figures on school enrollment, which has been steadily declining in Vermont for a decade. They expect an increase of 2 to 5 percent statewide, and as much as 15 percent in some towns, said Michael S. Pieciak, commissioner at the state Department of Financial Regulation.

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