Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced the resumption of additional close contact businesses, dental procedures, businesses that require work in the home, and of limited overnight youth summer camp programming. As state modeling continues to indicate a low number of COVID-19 cases, he also increased the size of social gatherings to 25. The summer camps guidance includes protocols for out-of-state campers. Gatherings can be held inside and outside.
“We’re able to take these steps because Vermonters have been smart and safe. We continue to see very low case numbers because Vermonters are using common sense and making good choices,” said Governor Scott. “This must continue if we want to open things further and, so far, Vermonters are doing just that.”
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has issued health and safety requirements and procedures for the resumption of close contact businesses such as gyms, fitness centers, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors, as well as cleaning services and other businesses that require home visits, beginning on June 1.
Additionally, overnight youth summer camp programming can resume in a limited capacity and with strict safety and travel procedures, beginning June 7.
Reopening of these businesses is dependent on established occupancy limits of 25 percent and physical distancing requirements, as well as health, sanitation and training measures, which can be found at accd.vermont.gov.
Addendum 16, signed by Governor Scott today, also allows social gatherings of 25 people or less, effective June 1, though existing occupancy limits for operations including retail, recreation, dining, worship and event spaces remain in place.
However, while there are protocols for out-of-state campers, the new guidance does not include allowing for lodging establishments to allow for out-of-state visitors. They must still quarantine in Vermont for 14 days before they will be allowed to make a reservation at a lodging establishment.
He said the summer camp guidance will be a kind of "pilot" case for allowing more out-of-state visitors. He added that he will not necessarily wait for the results of the summer camp experience to begin to allowing out-of-state guests at Vermont lodging establishments.
He will continue to keep an eye on regional data to inform his decisions on allowing more out-of-state visitors, he said. While Scott acknowledged that regional data is getting better, the virus is still virulent in many contiguous states and in Quebec.
Scott said he is still "very concerned" by the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths within the region. State modeling shows that there are nearly 200,000 active cases and nearly 60,000 have died within a five-hour drive of Vermont.
And the Vermont Department of Health has issued guidance allowing for some additional dental procedures, allowing for aerosol-generating procedures in compliance with CDC and Health Department safety standards and precautions.
Active Cases, Drive Time from Vermont's Border
New Infections in New England
To view the ACCD’s specific safety guidelines and protocols for businesses, as well as additional resources, visit accd.vermont.gov.
New Guidance in Red.
8.1 Close Contact Business Stage 2 (Effective 6/1)
Gymnasiums, fitness centers and similar exercise facilities, massage therapists, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors, indoor recreation facilities (such as skating rinks and field houses), businesses that require home visits, such as cleaning services and similar operations, and businesses that require limited close personal contact may resume in-person operations 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 and, no classes of more than 25 people shall occur in any single, distinct indoor space.
- Operators should separate customers to maintain 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 are allowed.
- Operations may serve only Vermont residents or others who have completed the prescribed quarantine.
- Locker rooms, waiting areas, and other common areas shall be restricted to occupancy limits noted above.
- For retail sales, curbside pickup is preferred; no testing / demonstration of products is allowed; and cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred.
- Personal instructional services/lessons (such as art, music, athletic, skills, academic) may occur within the maximum occupancy limits mentioned above at a commercial location or residence. (Masks and physical distancing are encouraged to the extent possible.)
- No contact games or contact activity, except for those activities essential to the safety of participants, during practices are currently allowed.
- Operators must maintain a log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Department of Health.
Gatherings and congregate settings in any one indoor space of up to 25 people may occur subject to the mandatory health and safety guidance above (including physical distancing), and:
- Inside gatherings are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet.
Overnight summer camps and limited residential summer college programming shall operate in accordance with Health Guidance for Childcare Programs, Summer Programs and Afterschool Programs issued by the Vermont Department of Health on May 13, 2020. Recognizing the unique ability of residential programs to control and monitor the activity of their participants, the following supplemental guidance shall be in effect June 7th:
- Overnight summer camp programs may operate at 75 percent their bed capacity.
- Limited residential college programming refers to college programming where students are living on a campus for no more than 8 weeks with no more than 50 participants.
- Overnight summer camps and limited residential summer college programs may operate in groups of greater than 25 as long as physical distancing occurs between individuals.
- Programs are encouraged, but not required, to break larger camps into small groups of not more than 25 individuals in a single pod, including staff and counselors, to reduce the risk of camp-wide exposure. Wherever possible, the same staff should remain with the same group each day.
- All out-of-state staff and out-of-state campers must complete one of the following quarantine protocols for overnight summer camps and limited residential college programming (each camp is responsible for ensuring their campers and staff comply):
- 14 DAYS AT CAMP: Campers are “quarantined” at camp, with their pod, for 14 days. Campers may not interact with anyone outside of their pod for the 14 days.
- 14 DAYS AT HOME: Campers self-quarantine at home for 14 days before travelling to Vermont, provided they come directly to camp without making any stops along the way that could potentially expose them to the virus. (This option is not available to campers who fly to Vermont)
- 7 DAYS AT CAMP + NEGATIVE TEST RESULT: Campers are “quarantined” within their pods for 7 days and, if they remain symptom-free, they are then tested for COVID-19 using a test recognized by the State of Vermont. If test results are negative, campers are subsequently permitted to mix with other campers outside of their pod.
- 7 DAYS AT HOME + NEGATIVE TEST RESULT: Campers self-quarantine for 7 days at home. Prior to departing for camp, they take a test for COVID-19 recognized by the State of Vermont and remain quarantined while they await the result. Timing is arranged so that they depart for camp within 24 hours of receiving a negative test result, and they come directly to camp without making any stops along the way that could potentially expose them to the virus. (This option is not available to campers who fly to Vermont).
- Families must exercise extreme caution when bringing students to camp:
- No more than one family member may travel with the camper;
- No overnight accommodations will be available to families dropping campers off;
- Families should practice curbside drop off without entering the camp facility; and
- Camp programs should organize carpooling, van service or bus service from other states to reduce unnecessary cross state travel.
- Campers and staff should wear cloth face coverings whenever in the presence of others, except in those exceptions identified in the Governor’s Executive Order, and policies must be in place to promote physical distancing.
- Camps shall prohibit non-essential visits from family and friends.
- Staff and other visitors who are not staying at the camp for the duration of the camp shall not have close physical contact with campers or staff.
- Camps must maintain a log of all staff, campers and visitors, including their contact information, in the event contact tracing is required by the Department of Health.
- Libraries, galleries, museums, theaters and other indoor arts, culture and entertainment organizations 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, organizations should take steps to schedule or stage customer visits, such as waiting in cars or outside, to ensure lower contact operations.
- Organizations should close or remove high touch entertainment features, including arcades and playgrounds.
To view the Health Department’s latest dental procedure guidance, visit https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-health-care-professionals.
To view the Addendum 16 to Executive Order 01-20, visit https://governor.vermont.gov/content/addendum-16-executive-order-01-20.
For more information on:
- COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data, visit www.healthvermont.gov/covid19.
- The Governor’s actions, visit governor.vermont.gov/covid19response.
- The state’s modeling, visit dfr.vermont.gov/about-us/covid-19/modeling.
Source: Montpelier, Vt. - Governor 5.29.2020