VDH COVID-19 & Economic Update: 6 cases, no deaths; go to the gym and get a haircut Monday

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Health on Sunday reported six new cases of COVID-19 since Friday with over 2,000 tests being administered statewide. There were no deaths from the coronavirus over the weekend and only 2 in the last three weeks for a total of 55. Meanwhile, given the ongoing positive trend on suppressing the viral transmission, Governor Scott is opening more and more businesses. Notably gyms and salons and other personal services can restart Monday with restrictions and gatherings are increased from 10 to 25 people. Dentistry is expanded and overnight summer camps are allowed, including for out-of-state children. See guidance below.

New information is in red

Find this update at healthvermont.gov/covid19 by clicking the “See the Latest Update” button.

There will be no Daily Update published over the weekend.

Please visit the Vermont Department of Health’s updated COVID-19 web and data pages healthvermont.gov/covid19.

Be Smart, Stay Safe

As state modeling continues to show a positive outlook, Governor Phil Scott today announced additional turns of the spigot to restarting Vermont:

  • Close-contact businesses, such as gyms, fitness centers, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors, and businesses that require home visits may resume operations beginning on June 1
  • Additional dental procedures are authorized, including aerosol-generating procedures that follow safety standards set forth in Health Department guidance
  • Limited overnight youth summer camp programming beginning June 7, with additional options for quarantine
  • An increase in the size of social gatherings to 25 people. All are urged to continue to follow distancing and facial covering guidance as appropriate

All businesses must adhere to health and safety requirements set by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

Gov. Scott thanked Vermonters for being smart and safe, using common sense and making good choices, and urged everyone to keep up the good work.

Read the press release for more details.

Cluster Investigation

Health Commissioner Mark Levine said the Health Department is investigating a small cluster of cases (fewer than 6) among members of the Winooski community. This is not an outbreak of the virus spreading throughout the city.

The department has been in contact with the individuals and is providing appropriate guidance and recommendations – including for self-isolation and quarantine. The contact tracing team has been reaching out to any of these individuals’ close contacts to identify any further risk and need for testing. In addition to closely working with Winooski city officials, Health staff have been in contact with community-based organizations, on education and follow-up efforts.

To protect patient privacy, we cannot offer any more details at this time. Members of the Winooski community should follow the same precautions as all Vermonters: continue to practice physical distancing, use face coverings when in the presence of others, regularly wash your hands and stay home if you’re sick.

Dr Levine this week made a point of emphasizing wearing facial coverings. He said a consensus is growing in the medical community that wearing a facial covering can help prevent contracting the coronavirus from particles lingering in the air, especially indoors. Masks of course have long been promoted as a way of preventing transmission of the virus. Now the evidence suggests that wearing a mask or facial covering can prevent you from giving it or getting it. 

Take Steps to Prevent the Spread of Rabies in Pets and Wildlife

As we all spend more time outdoors and encounter wildlife, health officials are reminding Vermonters to take precautions against rabies.

Both people and pets may come into more contact with wild animals this time of year as days get longer and warmer — including baby animals.  The best thing to do is leave wildlife alone and enjoy them from a distance.

Pets should be vaccinated for rabies. State law requires dogs and cats to be vaccinated — even barn cats. Health officials noted a recent case of rabies in a barn cat from the town of Addison, which likely became infected from contact with local rabid wildlife.

Rabies is a deadly viral disease of the brain that infects mammals and is fatal to both humans and animals. In Vermont, rabies is most commonly found in wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats and woodchucks. Cats, dogs and livestock can also get rabies if they have not been vaccinated for rabies.

Read the press release.

Testing Information

More COVID-19 Pop-Up Test Sites Open for Asymptomatic Vermonters

The Health Department has opened nearly two dozen additional pop-up sites located throughout the state to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 for the virus. Specimen collection is happening with the assistance of trained Emergency Medical Service providers and members of the Vermont National Guard.

  • Appointment slots are still available. Find locations and make an appointment to be tested at humanresources.vermont.gov/popups. You can also call 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.

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

Read the May 21 press release.      

New on healthvermont.gov
The Weekly Summary of Vermont COVID-19 Data, which gives Vermonters a more in-depth look at how the virus has impacted people in our state, has been updated. The summary is updated every Friday.

Case Information

Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont

As of 11:00 a.m. on May 31, 2020

Total cases*

 

981

 

Currently hospitalized

 

1

 

Hospitalized under investigation

 

17

 

Total people recovered

 

873

 

Deaths+

 

55

 

People tested

 

33,970

 

People being monitored

 

37

 

People completed monitoring

 

889

 

*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.

 

May 29, 2020 || Modifications and new sections are in red.

Update 10 – New Work Safe Additions to the Be Smart, Stay Safe Order

 

BUSINESS CUSTOMER & GENERAL PUBLIC MASK USE  

Customers, and the public in general, are encouraged to wear face coverings any time they are interacting with others from outside their household.  Businesses may require customers to wear facial coverings over nose and mouth.

CROSS STATE TRAVEL

Commuter (day trip) traffic to and from Vermont by those who travel daily between Vermont and adjacent states is authorized for essential travel (e.g. essential work, healthcare, groceries) and currently authorized daily work, family visitation, or recreation. Travel to and from Vermont from outside the daily commuting area AND by those who do not travel to and from adjacent states daily is currently restricted and subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Vermont. Leisure travel to Vermont – either for the day or overnight – remains prohibited unless the traveler self-quarantines for 14 days.

Those participating in essential work or currently authorized work that requires an overnight stay may utilize the state’s lodging, camping and short-term rental properties if the individual self-certifies upon arrival that they are authorized to work in Vermont, have not been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, and have not experienced COVID-19-like symptoms in the past 24 hours including a fever above 100.4 F, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache or new loss of taste or smell.

For more information about how to quarantine, visit the Vermont Department of Health’s quarantine chart.

PHASED RESTART

Operations deemed “essential” may continue to operate under pre-existing guidance with the addition of the mandatory health and safety requirements above.  

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

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


1.2 Low or No Contact Professional Services

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


2.1 Libraries (clarifying guidance)

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


2.2 Farmers Markets

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


3.1 Manufacturing, Construction, and Distribution Operations

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


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.    

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

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


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: 

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


5.1 Retail Operations (Effective 5/18)

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


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: 

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


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 25 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 25 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.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


7.1 Restaurants – Outdoor Dining (Effective 5/22)

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


7.2 Religious Facilities and Places of Worship (Effective May 23)

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


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: 

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


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: 

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


8.2 Social Gatherings and Congregate Settings of Up to 25 People (Effective 6/1)

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:

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


8.3 Overnight Summer Camps and Limited Residential Summer College Programming (Effective 6/7)

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.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors


8.4 Indoor Arts, Culture and Entertainment (Effective 6/1)

— to www.vermontbiz.com

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