Daily Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
May 21, 2020
New information is in red
Find this update at healthvermont.gov/covid19 by clicking the “See the Latest Update” button.
Please visit the Vermont Department of Health’s updated COVID-19 web and data pages. The Vermont Department of Health is reporting today that there are six new cases of COVID-19 in Vermont for a total of 950. Deaths are holding at 54 and there has been only one in the last two weeks.
Stay Healthy Outdoors as the Weather Warms Up
As we see the first signs of summer this Memorial Day weekend, health officials are reminding Vermonters to enjoy the outdoors safely – which includes continuing to take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Temperatures will be warmer than we’ve had yet this year, so it’s important to err on the safe side in early season heat. Even though it’s not as hot as mid-summer, ease into outdoor activities.
People who are active outside should start slowly, drink more fluids than usual, take extra breaks in the shade or cool places indoors. Remember to keep a physical distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others who are not part of your household, and wear a face covering in more crowded areas.
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, even on cloudy days. Protect yourself with a hat with a wide brim, sunglasses and long-sleeves and pants when you can.
- Always wear a life jacket for boating and water sports. Use extra caution if you get in the water — temperatures are still cold.
- Check yourself for ticks after you go outside! Use an EPA-registered insect repellent on skin and treat clothes with permethrin. Be Tick Smart!
- Keep away from wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, fox, and woodchucks that can carry rabies. Call the Rabies Hotline at 1-800-4-RABIES if you see an animal that you think needs help or is acting suspicious.
- Never leave children, people with disabilities, older adults, or pets in parked vehicles. Look Before You Lock!
- Keep food safe during your BBQs and picnics. Clean, Separate, Cook & Chill!
For more outdoors information, visit: fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19
Take Steps to Prevent Water Quality Issues Before Your Business Reopens
Owners and managers of buildings that have been closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are urged to take steps that can prevent illnesses associated with stagnant water in plumbing systems.
The Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation have set up a website where building and facility managers can access guidance and recommendations for actions to take before a building’s drinking water is used again: https://dec.vermont.gov/water/COVID-19-Response-and-Resources
When buildings close, or are empty for long periods of time, it can affect drinking water quality and lead to health issues unrelated to the new coronavirus. Schools, offices, retail businesses, gyms and other buildings that are preparing to reopen their doors as Vermont begins to restart, should follow the state recommendations.
Stagnant water can lead to the growth of Legionella and other bacteria, which can cause Legionnaires’ disease or other diseases. Stagnant water can also cause corrosion of plumbing — which can release metals such as lead and copper into the water — or lead to an increase in disinfection byproducts. Read the story.
Be Smart, Stay Safe
Governor Phil Scott on Wednesday announced a $400 million economic relief and recovery package, using funds from the $1.25 billion the state received from the Federal CARES Act.
The two-phase proposal, which is expected to be the first of multiple packages necessary to fully recover, will start with $310 million for immediate emergency relief to the most impacted sectors and businesses to be followed by $90 million in long-term recovery investments.
Get more details from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development here.
Although the data continues to show Vermont is doing well in its efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, we cannot let our guard down. As Vermont slowly reopens, physical distancing from others, wearing face coverings and handwashing continue to be essential.
The Health Department, with support from EMS units and members of the Vermont National Guard, is testing people in Vermont who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 at pop-up testing sites around the state. More sites have been added. Find locations and register for appointments at humanresources.vermont.gov/popups.
You can also fill out this form to receive information of any future clinics that may be scheduled in your area.
We encourage health care workers, first responders, child care providers, and people returning to Vermont – such as college students, people who winter out of state and second home owners – to consider being tested.
Vermonters With Even Mild Symptoms Should Call Their Doctor to Be Tested
People with even mild symptoms are encouraged to call their health care provider to get tested. This includes parents of children who have possible symptoms. Your health care provider will ensure you receive proper care and treatment.
If you don’t have a health care provider: Dial 2-1-1 to connect with a community or hospital-connected clinic.
New on healthvermont.gov
Take a deeper dive into data on how the virus has impacted people in our state: Weekly Summary of Vermont COVID-19 Data. The summary is updated every Friday.
Our data dashboard on healthvermont.gov/covid19 includes the estimated number of people who have recovered from COVID-19.
As of 11:00 a.m. on May 21, 2020
Hospitalized under investigation
Total people recovered
People being monitored
People completed monitoring
*Includes testing conducted at the Health Department Laboratory, commercial labs and other public health labs.
+Death occurring in persons known to have COVID-19. Death certificate may be pending.
Hospitalization data is provided by the Vermont Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalition and is based on hospitals updating this information.
Find more information on new data dashboard at healthvermont.gov/covid19 by clicking on the map of Vermont.
Guidance for Vermonters
Who to Contact:
- If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.
- If you are having symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider.
- Most information is online: Visit our regularly updated Frequently Asked Questions.
You can also type in a question to our Ask A Question tool.
- If you still have health-related COVID-19 questions, call the Health Department at 802-863-7240.
- For non-health related questions, dial 2-1-1 or 1-866-652-4636.
The Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont National continue to distribute meals to those in need throughout May and June. Supplies at each site are limited. For the full list of locations and details, visit: https://vem.vermont.gov/pods
Interact with Family and Friends Safely
Vermonters can now participate in outdoor recreation and limited social interactions under strict health and safety precautions. Review the Health Department’s guidelines on how to weigh the risks and connect with family and friends safely.
Make Wearing a Mask a Habit
As Vermont gradually opens, wearing face coverings is more important than ever. Recent evidence indicates masks do seem to reduce respiratory droplet transmission, but compliance must be high for this strategy to work. Taking our mask with us when we go out is as important as is taking our car keys and wallets.
Even with a mask, we still need to keep 6 feet between ourselves and other people. Learn more about why and how we need to wear masks.
Keep a List of Your Close Contacts
Health officials suggest that Vermonters keep a journal of contacts – a list of other people with whom you have been in close contact with each day. If you get sick, this will make it easier to get in touch with those people and so they can take precautions to prevent further spread of COVID-19, including being tested if recommended.
Take Care of Your Emotional and Mental Health
Feeling anxious, confused, overwhelmed or powerless is common during an infectious disease outbreak. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs emotional support, help is available 24/7:
- Call your local mental health crisis line
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- Text VT to 741741 to talk with someone at the Crisis Text Line.
- For more information visit healthvermont.gov/suicide.