Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health has reported that there are now 158 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Vermont and nine deaths as of Thursday afternoon. This is 35 more cases and one additional death since yesterday's report. Chittenden County presents the most cases with 75, with Windsor County second at 17. There are still no positive cases reported in Grand Isle or Essex counties.
New information is in red
This update is also available at healthvermont.gov/covid19 under UPDATES
Vermonters are being asked to stay home as much as possible to keep everyone safe during this pandemic. Please leave for essentials only, such as food, and keep a safe distance of 6 feet between yourself and others. This will help slow the spread of the virus and protect people who are more vulnerable.
Though we may all feel isolated at this time, we can, and should, connect with each other through technology, reading books, playing games and finding hobbies we enjoy. We’re all in this together.
The Department of Health wants Vermonters to know:
- For the most up-to-date information and guidance visit healthvermont.gov/covid19 (see new additions below).
- If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath):
CALL your health care provider. Many people who are mildly ill can manage their symptoms at home with rest, drinking fluids and taking fever-reducing medicine, when needed.
- Testing is currently limited and is prioritized to healthcare workers, hospitalized patients, and vulnerable populations.
- Not everybody needs to be tested. Do not call the Health Department. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.
- If you need to go food shopping, to the pharmacy or do other essential activities, keep a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others. Six feet is about the length of a 3-person couch or a bed.
- It’s OK to get fresh air, exercise outside and walk your dog – as long as you keep 6 feet away from other people.
On March 24, Governor Phil Scott issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and directed the closure of in-person operations for all non-essential businesses. These restrictive measures are in place to minimize all unnecessary activities outside the home to slow the spread of this virus and protect the public.
Effective March 25, 2020 at 5 p.m., all businesses and not-for-profit entities not expressly exempted in the order were directed to suspend all in-person business operations. Business that can be conducted online or by phone, or sales that can use curbside pickup or delivery only, can continue.
The executive order provides exemptions for businesses and entities providing services or functions deemed critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. The exemptions include – but are not limited to – health care operations; retail entities that serve essential human needs, like grocery stores, pharmacies and hardware stores; fuel products and supply; news media; maintenance of critical infrastructure; and transportation and critical manufacturing sectors. Read more about what the order means to Vermonters.
The order follows Gov. Scott’s declaration of a state of emergency in March, and a number of community mitigation actions throughout the month, including the orderly dismissal of all schools and cancellation of all school related activities. It will last through April 6, but may be extended for a longer period. Child care centers are also closed, except those providing care for workers who are essential to Vermont’s ongoing effort in the current pandemic.
As of 1:00 p.m. on March 26, 2020
Positive test results*
Total tests conducted
People being monitored
People who have completed monitoring
*Includes testing conducted at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory, commercial labs and other public health labs.
+Death occurring in persons known to have COVID-19. Death certificate may be pending.
A map of case numbers by county and a chart of case number totals are available on our COVID-19 web page under COVID-19 Activity in Vermont.
Please note: Due to the increasing number of cases and investigations, detailed demographic information is no longer able to be compiled by our epidemiology and investigation teams in time to match the posting of case numbers. We are looking at alternative forms of reporting this detail.
Guidance for Vermonters
When to call:
- If you have questions: Dial 2-1-1. If you have trouble reaching 2-1-1, dial 1-866-652-4636.
- Travelers returning from high risk countries or from a cruise: Call Health Department Epidemiology at 802-863-7240.
- If you are sick or concerned about your health: Call your health care provider by phone. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.
Who can be tested?
If you are ill, call your health care provider. Testing is not treatment and not everyone needs to be tested. Do not call 2-1-1 or the Health Department about testing.
All specimens submitted by health care providers to the UVM Medical Center will be tested. However, testing resources in Vermont and in the U.S. are currently limited. For now, Vermont testing will prioritize samples from health care workers who are symptomatic, patients who are hospitalized, long-term care facility residents, those who are incarcerated and other high-priority groups. All other specimens will be tested as quickly as resources allow.
The Health Department is also cautioning Vermonters against using non-approved drugs to treat COVID-19. At this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drugs specifically for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Read the press release.
New to healthvermont.gov
The Health Department website has several new features:
- A new section called “Ask a Question,” which allows visitors to type questions about COVID-19 in Vermont into a box. The information we currently have available will be provided as an answer. We appreciate your patience as we continue to update this information regularly.
- A new COVID-19 web page to meet the specific needs of health care providers. It includes current guidance, health alerts, and resources for protecting patients and health care workers in different settings. It can be found at healthvermont.gov/covid19-
- Fact sheets with COVID-19 information for health care workers, in addition to Vermonters who are awaiting test results for COVID-19, diagnosed with COVID-19, or a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
The Health Department has fact sheets translated into nine languages on its website What You Need to Know About Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
You can also find links to translated videos created by the Spectrum Multicultural Youth Program, Howard Center and other Burlington community members.
Find these at healthvermont.gov/covid19 under “Translated Materials.”
Stay up to date at healthvermont.gov/covid19
Governor Phil Scott has called on Vermonters to help protect our most vulnerable – the elderly and the very ill. He declared a State of Emergency and has since announced several strategies to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
- Directed Vermonters to stay home, leaving only for essential reasons, critical to health and safety, such as: personal safety, groceries or medicine, curbside pick-up of goods, meals or beverages, medical care, exercise, or care of others. If leaving the home, Vermonters should adhere to stay at home and social distancing policies, including remaining six feet from others (except for those with whom they share a home) and thoroughly and regularly washing hands. Read the executive order. (link is external)
- Restricted visitor access to long-term care facilities.
- Postponed all non-essential adult elective surgery and medical and surgical procedures, including all dental procedures. Read the directive. (link is external)
- Asked insurers to offer policyholders a grace period for nonpayment of insurance premiums due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read the update. (link is external)
- Ordered all businesses and not-for-profit entities, except for those providing critical services to suspend all in-person business operations. Operations that can be conducted online or by phone, or sales that can be facilitated with curbside pickup or delivery only, can continue. Read the executive order including a list of exemptions. (link is external)
Education and Child Care
- Enacted of a Continuity of Education Plan for the orderly dismissal of all schools, and cancellation of all school-related activities, no later than Wednesday, March 18. Read the plan. (link is external)
- Directed child care centers across the state to close normal operations (except for those providing services for the children of essential personnel). Read the guidance. (link is external)
- Announced changes to unemployment insurance requirements for people impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Find more information at the Vermont Department of Labor. (link is external)
File for unemployment insurance benefits
- Suspended in-person transactions at the Department of Motor. Read the directive. (link is external)
- Ended out-of-state travel for state employees.
- We are working closely with the state’s health care providers and hospitals, local governments, and across state programs and agencies.
- We are monitoring people who have returned to Vermont from an affected area or traveled by cruise ship, provide guidance to them about staying home and how to monitor their health.
- We work to identify people who may have been exposed. We asses their exposure risk and provide them with guidance for their health and recommendations for self-isolation or other measures.
- We keep the public up to date with current information through our website and other communication methods.