Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health reported today that there have been four new cases of COVID-19 since Friday. There were no deaths, which remain at 54. There has been only one death related to the coronavirus in over two weeks. Governor Phil Scott however is still requiring coming to the state or Vermonters returning home to quarantine in Vermont for 14 days because there are still thousands of new cases being reported in the Northeast. He noted Friday that he might relax that requirement and allow for out-of-state quarantining if the positive health trends here and in nearby regions continue.
Be Smart, Stay Safe
Governor Phil Scott Friday announced the resumption of additional business operations, including outdoor seating at restaurants and bars, hair salons and barber shops and some additional health services.
- Effective May 22, restaurants and bars may reopen for limited outdoor seating, including for the sale and consumption of alcohol. Reservations or call ahead seating is required, with strict limits on table distance and occupancy. Additional safety measures are strongly encouraged — including phone or electronic ordering, takeout service rather than table side delivery of food, and cashless or touchless transactions. Operators must also maintain a log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Vermont Department of Health.
- Effective May 29, hair salons and barber shops may reopen by appointment and with limits on occupancy. Safety measures include strict distance between customers, cashless or touchless transactions and curbside pickup for retail sales. As with other businesses, salons and barbershops must maintain a customer log in case contact tracing is required.
- Additional medical procedures and health services may also resume. This includes inpatient surgeries and procedures; outpatient services, including clinic visits, diagnostic imaging and limited outpatient surgeries and procedures; and elective dental services.
The Governor’s latest order also cancels all traditional fairs and festivals until further notice.
Read the press release for more details.
In his remarks, Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD implored Vermonters to continue the practices necessary to keep germs and the COVID-19 virus from spreading. Noting that though Vermont has been fortunate relative to other states, 54 people have died and almost 1,000 people have tested positive. Dr. Levine specifically cited the need to ensure people at risk of serious illness, including older Vermonters and people with impaired immunity, are not exposed to the virus.
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 reopens and the weather turns toward summer, physical distancing from others, wearing face coverings and handwashing continue to be essential.
The Health Department is opening nearly two dozen additional pop-up sites to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 for the virus.
The specimen collection sites are located throughout the state. Find locations and make an appointment to be tested at humanresources.vermont.gov/popups, or by calling 2-1-1 or 802-828-2828. All clinics operate from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
We especially 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.
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.
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.
- Because our bodies are still adjusting to warmer temperatures, people who are active outside should start slowly, drink more fluids than usual, take extra breaks in the shade or cool places indoors.
- 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
Review the Health Department’s guidelines on how to weigh the risks and connect with family and friends safely.
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 May 21 press release.
New on healthvermont.gov
The Weekly Summary of Vermont COVID-19 Data has been updated. This information gives Vermonters a more in-depth look at how the virus is impacting people in our state. The summary is updated every Friday.
As of 11:00 a.m. on May 24, 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
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.
Please visit the Vermont Department of Health’s updated COVID-19 web and data pages healthvermont.gov/covid19.