VDH COVID-19 Update: Six new cases for 962, deaths remain at 54

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VDH COVID-19 Update: Six new cases for 962, deaths remain at 54

Mon, 05/25/2020 - 4:40pm -- tim

Vermont Department of Financial Regulation. Through May 20, 2020.

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott did not hold his usual media briefing today in observance of Memorial Day. He has been providing updates every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for several weeks. With the health-related news trending in an increasingly positive direction, he has allowed more and more businesses to resume in-person operations. This weekend restaurants and bars were allowed outside seating and churches were allowed to congregate, but both with restrictions. (SEE DETAIL BELOW). Hair salons and more elective healthcare, including dentistry, can resume, but also with restrictions. As for the health news, the Vermont Department of Health reported today that there have been six new cases of COVID-19 since Sunday. There were no deaths, which remain at 54. There are only two people statewide hospitalized with COVID-19.

Scott however is still requiring those 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.

Case Information

Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont

As of 11:00 a.m. on May 25, 2020

Total cases*

 

962

 

Currently hospitalized

 

2

 

Hospitalized under investigation

 

17

 

Total people recovered

 

843

 

Deaths+

 

54

 

Total tests

 

29,669

 

People being monitored

 

31

 

People completed monitoring

 

877

 

*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.

ACCD Guidance on Restarting the Economy

To safely reopen certain operations impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and not defined as essential, Governor Scott has directed the Agency of Commerce and Community Development - in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety – to authorize, subject to mandatory health and safety requirements listed above and additional sector specific guidance below, the following:   

1.1 Outdoor Businesses

  • Those who exclusively or largely work outdoors (such as landscaping, painting, parks maintenance, recreation maintenance, delivery work, etc.) may resume operations with a maximum of 10 (ten) total workers per location/job. 
  • Supporting services that were not previously deemed essential may resume operations with the minimum number of employees necessary to support curbside pick-up and delivery services; adherence to the mandatory health and safety requirements or when appropriate; and compliance with retail guidance in 5.1. 

1.2 Low or no contact professional services 

  • Services operating with a single worker or small office environments (such as appraisers, realtors, municipal clerks, attorneys, property managers, pet care operators, and others) may operate if they can comply with the mandatory health and safety requirements listed above, with no more than 10 persons (service provider and client) present at one time.
  • Remote work is required whenever possible.
  • Operators must maintain a log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department. 

2.1 Libraries (clarifying guidance)  

  • Libraries may operate only by allowing for curbside pickup for lending in accordance with guidance issued by the Department of Libraries.
  • Only the minimum number of employees necessary to support curbside pick-up and delivery services are allowed at any one location.  

2.2 Farmers Markets

  • Farmers markets may open using limited in-person operations to ensure consumer access to quality, healthy food if: 
    • They adhere to all municipal ordinances and rules and their local municipality agrees to allow opening.
    • Markets must significantly alter their business practices to eliminate crowds and reduce contact between vendors and customers including a temporary transition away from shopping and social events to primarily a food distribution system.
    • Markets are directed to use a “pre-order, local food pick-up” model and to follow any additional guidance issued by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

3.1 Manufacturing, Construction, and Distribution Operations  

  • Manufacturing, construction, and distribution operations that ceased operations for more than seven days during the state of emergency may restart with as few employees as necessary to permit full operations while maintaining compliance with the mandatory health and safety requirements above, and: 
    • Interior residential and commercial construction may occur in occupied structures as of May 22.  

4.1 Outdoor Recreation and Fitness   

Vermonters are encouraged to participate in outdoor recreation and fitness activities, while limiting themselves to those activities that can be enjoyed while adhering to social distancing and hygiene requirements, and which require low or no physical contact with anyone outside their immediate household. This includes, but is not limited to biking, hiking, walking, running and other outdoor fitness activities; golf, tennis, skate parks and other outdoor no-contact sports; horseback riding, boating and paddle sports, fishing, hunting, photography and nature walks.    

  • These opportunities are for Vermont residents, and those who have met the minimum 14-day quarantine requirement.  Visitors from other states, and countries, are still being asked not to come to Vermont. If they do they are required to self-quarantine for at least 14 days after arriving in Vermont before engaging in any activities. 
  • Vermonters shall limit outdoor recreation and fitness activities to in-state opportunities. Vermonters are encouraged to pursue day trips close to home, however are no longer being asked to limit outings to within 10 miles of their homes. Any individual returning to, or traveling to, Vermont from another state or country for non-essential reasons continues to require 14-days of self-quarantine before engaging in any activities.  
  • Vermonters participating in outdoor recreation activities that are not physically strenuous are encouraged to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others. Masks may be removed for strenuous activities and exercise. 

Nothing in these guidelines should be interpreted to override the need to continue to observe requirements for use of trails or property. For instance: mud season limitations on the use of trail networks; that users obtain appropriate permission from private landowners where required; and the expectation that, where needed, users will check with state or local land managers regarding conditions that remain in effect. Additional information on good etiquette and safe practices for outdoor recreation is available at: fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19 and vtfishandwildlife.com/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19

4.2 Outdoor Recreation Businesses, Facilities and Organizations 

Businesses, facilities and organizations which support or offer outdoor recreation and fitness activities that require low or no direct physical contact may return to operation under all applicable health and safety requirements established in Governor's Emergency Order. These include, but are not limited to state and municipal parks, recreation associations, trail networks, golf courses, big game check stations, and guided expeditions. In addition, organizations, businesses and facilities catering to outdoor activity must adhere to the conditions set forth below: 

  • Require an “arrive, play and leave” mentality. Groups may not gather before or after activities (no tailgating, etc.).  
  • Implement measures, including signage and registration processes, that reinforce parks, facilities, trails, etc. are only open to Vermonters and those who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement.  
  • Implement measures, including signage, discouraging contact sports and games. For example, outdoor basketball courts may be open to “shoot hoops,” but full contact games should be discouraged.  
  • Eliminate services or transactions that result in touch points and/or staff-customer interactions that are not absolutely necessary. This includes prioritizing credit card, telephone and electronic payment; cash transactions may only be accepted as a last resort. 
  • Reduce high contact surfaces and common areas, including closing waiting areas, removing picnic tables, closing play structures, and offering only rental equipment that can and will be thoroughly disinfected between users.   
  • Close indoor facilities (such as lobbies, pro-shops and other small retail operations, bars and restaurants), and only deliver services curbside, outdoors, or via online portals. 
  • Limit gatherings of people to 10 or less. Large outdoor facilities such as trail networks and municipal parks may have more than 10 people in them as long as there are no large gatherings in any one distinct portion of the facility exceeding 10 people.  
  • Restroom facilities may only be opened if they can be regularly cleaned and disinfected per CDC guidelines.  
  • These opportunities are for Vermont residents, and those who have met the minimum 14-day quarantine requirement.  Visitors from other states, and countries, are still being asked not to come to Vermont. If they do they are required to self-quarantine for at least 14 days after arriving in Vermont before engaging in any activities. 
  • Organized sporting events and spectator events are not permitted at this time. 
  • Pools and beaches may open if they can comply with this guidance.
  • Golf courses shall follow the reopening plans available at https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/business/restart

5.1 Retail Operations (Effective May 18, 2020)

  • Non-essential retail operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater.  Operators must POST their temporary occupancy limit, and which method was used to determine it, prominently on all entrances. Posting templates are available at accd.vermont.gov. 
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred. 
  • Curbside pickup remains the preferred method of operation.  When possible, retailers should take steps to schedule or stage customer visits, such as waiting in cars or outside, to ensure lower contact operations.
  • Yard sales and garage sales may occur at private residences with 10 or fewer people present at any one time. 

5.2 Drive-In Operations 

Drive-in operations including, but not limited to, movie theaters, restaurants, religious services, graduation ceremonies, and other gatherings may occur subject to the mandatory health and safety guidance above and: 

  • Vehicles must be spaced a minimum of 6 (six) feet apart. 
  • No gatherings outside vehicles are allowed. 
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred. 
  • Restrooms on site must be cleaned and sanitized regularly. 
  • Any concessions on site must be done via takeout or delivery or pursuant to any future food service guidance. 

6.1 Lodging, Campgrounds and other Accommodations

  • Lodging operations, short-term rentals, campgrounds and marinas may accept overnight reservations from Vermont residents, those who have met the 14 day quarantine requirement, and those participating in essential work or currently authorized work under the Agency of Commerce and Community Development's guidance or the original Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive order. Operators may require a copy of a Vermont drivers license or a signed document from the guest(s) attesting they meet the quarantine requirement.
  • Guests must complete their self-quarantine in Vermont before arriving at a lodging property, accommodation or short-term rental.
  • Multi-room lodging operations and campgrounds may book a maximum of 25% (twenty-five percent) of rooms or sites for non-residential lodging (e.g. those who are not semi-permanent/seasonal residents – including housed AHS clients, essential workers, etc. - which are excluded from the calculation). Ensure separation to the greatest extent possible. Standalone cabins, cottages, and short-term rentals are excluded from this requirement. 
  • All lodging and camping operations with more than 10 (ten) employees must complete and keep on file a reopening and training plan. VOSHA and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development have provided a template at accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/business/restart.
  • Check-in/out should be done via phone or electronic means to the greatest extent possible. 
  • All guests must complete a health questionnaire, which could be completed via phone or electronic means such as email, upon check-in.  Any guests that exhibit signs of illness or COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival may not be allowed to check in.  If symptoms begin during their stay must asked to leave and return home if possible. If departure is not possible, guests must self-isolate for the remainder of their stay and the Vermont Department of Health must be contacted immediately. 
  • A room or accommodation must be thoroughly cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines before another guest may use the accommodation. 
  • Operators must ensure there are no gatherings of more than 10 people on the property. 
  • Only one party should use an elevator at any given time. 
  • Amenities may only be open if they are done so in accordance with the Executive Order and the Phased Restart Work Safe Guidance. Amenities must be cleaned and sanitized between guest usage and be managed to restrict access to 10 or fewer individuals, including employees, and maintain social distancing.
  • Food service may only be offered as take out or delivery or in compliance with current restaurant guidance.  
  • Direct contact services (such as check-in, bell, valet, housekeeping, etc.) must be limited to the greatest extent possible.  Cashless / touchless transactions are strongly preferred. 
  • Operators must maintain an easily accessible log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department.

7.1 Restaurants - Outdoor Dining (effective 5/22)

  • Reservations or call ahead seating is required. 
  • Ordering via phone or electronic means is preferred. 
  • Takeout service rather than table side delivery of food is preferred. 
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred. 
  • Tables must be spaced a minimum of 10 feet apart. 
  • Members of only 2 households and 10 total people may be seated at the same table. 
  • Operators must limit the total number of customers served/seated at one time to 50 or their maximum licensed seating capacity, whichever is less. 
  • Disposable menus are required. 
  • Disposable/single use condiment packets are encouraged.  Multi-use condiments and all other items for general use must be cleaned and sanitized between customers. 
  • Operators must maintain an easily accessible log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department. 
  • Bars, breweries, distilleries, wineries, cideries and tasting rooms may offer outdoor beverage service in compliance with this outdoor dining guidance, and the temporary outdoor consumption notification and permit stipulations established by the Department of Liquor and Lottery.

7.2 Religious facilities & places of worship (Effective May 23)

  • Religious facilities and places of worship may resume operations subject to the mandatory health and safety guidance above, and: 
  • Outdoor, drive-in, and remote services remain the preferred method of operation. 
  • Operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 person per 200 square feet, whichever ensures physical distancing. 
  • Physical distancing between household/family units should be observed. 
  • Facial coverings are recommended. 

7.3 Close Contact Business Stage 1 (Only Hair Salons and Barber Shops) (Effective 5/29)

Hair salons & barber shops may reopen subject to the mandatory health and safety requirements listed above, and: 

  • Operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater. 
  • Additionally, operators should separate customers in chairs, to achieve physical distancing of 6 feet for any activity that will occur for more than a few moments (e.g. a retail transaction). 
  • To the greatest extent possible, operations shall be by appointment only with specified time periods for each client. No walk-In appointments or at home visits (house calls) are allowed. 
  • Operations may serve only Vermont residents or others who have completed the prescribed quarantine. 
  • For retail sales, curbside pickup is preferred; no testing / demonstration of products is allowed; and cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred. 
  • Operators must maintain a log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department. 
  • Only hair care services shall be offered during the first phase.

If your business or circumstance does not meet these criteria, additional guidance will be forthcoming.

For additional information visit https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/business/restart