CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC EMERGENCY – GOV BANS AMTRAK SERVICE TO PREVENT DISEASE SPREAD
VT STRONG news – Waterbury, VT: Vermont Emergency Management report 4.01.2020.
Governor Phil Scott has taken action to encourage compliance with newly released CDC guidance around interstate travel from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which advised residents of those states to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.
In light of the significant risk posed by the further spread of this dangerous virus to Vermonters and the viability of Vermont’s health care system, this new order directs residents and non-residents coming into Vermont to stay to home-quarantine for 14 days and strongly discourages travel to Vermont by those located in COVID-19 “hot spots.” Details and exemptions are outlined in Addendum 7.
Lodging facilities – including vacation rentals, hotels, inns, etc. – have been ordered closed except for those needed for COVID-19 response. Further, the state has suspended Amtrak service and VAST has closed its trail network for the season.
Additionally, all residents and visitors are subject to the provisions set forth in Governor Phil Scott’s Executive Order dated March 13, 2020 and its subsequent addendums. This includes Addendum 6, which directs those residing in Vermont to stay at home or in their place of residence, leaving only for essential reasons such as: personal safety; groceries or medicine; curbside pick-up of goods, meals or beverages; medical care; exercise; care of others; and work, as set forth further below.
Those residing in Vermont are also encouraged, for the public good, to self-quarantine if they come from an area that has ordered or recommended such actions. This includes the recommendation of the federal government that those who have passed through or left New York City to place themselves in a 14-day quarantine.
Stay home, stay safe. Vermonters are directed to stay at home and leave only for essential reasons such as: personal safety; groceries or medicine; curbside pick-up of goods, meals or beverages; medical care; exercise; care of others; and work, as set forth further below.
Folks can continue to go outside, take walks, go to the grocery store and pharmacies while practicing “social distancing” and proper hygiene. If you are sick, please stay home to protect others.
Businesses and non-profits
The executive order requires businesses and non-profits that are not critical to the public health and safety, as well as economic and national security, to suspend in-person business operations through the duration of the Executive Order, and as directed previously, ensure all workers work remotely whenever possible.
Businesses and non-profits that can transition their operations online or by phone, or sales that can be facilitated with curbside pickup or delivery only, can continue, including restaurants that were providing takeout service under the previous closure order. Otherwise, non-exempt businesses must close.
Essential services and functions
Businesses and entities providing services or functions deemed critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security can remain in operation and are not subject to suspend in-person operation restrictions, but are expected to adhere to social distancing, hygiene and cleaning requirements. Essential state and local government services and functions remain open. For a detailed list of essential services or functions in Vermont view Addendum 6.
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has published a guide using NAICS codes to help businesses interpret acceptable in-person business functions under this Order. Additionally, the Agency has published FAQs which should be reviewed to clarify the intent of the Executive Order. If businesses still need clarification or would like to make a request for their in-person business functions, they can submit their request using the ACCD online form.
Vermont State Police and local law enforcement will monitor lodging providers for compliance and work with the Attorney General’s Office on additional compliance and enforcement measures if needed.
Enforcement of this executive order for individuals will be handled primarily through education and voluntary compliance. The executive order does not close roads, nor does it establish roadblocks or checkpoints. Motor-vehicle and pedestrian traffic will continue as Vermonters engage in permissible activities outdoors and travel to and from businesses (including grocery stores and pharmacies) and other entities that are continuing to operate as the order allows. The executive order does not establish cause to initiate a motor vehicle stop or detain people for questioning about their travel, but law enforcement officers may be reminding people of the order’s provisions if they see groups congregating or businesses operating in violation of the order. See the Vermont State Police Guidance on enforcement.
Does the Stay Home/Stay Safe Executive Order prohibit travel to neighboring states for work or court-ordered parental visitation?
No. If you are in an essential industry in a neighboring state, or if you need to cross the border to pick up essential items like food or medicine, for example, that is permissible. However, if you come in close contact with someone sick with COVID-19 you should self-quarantine for 14 days, just as you would if the contact occurred in the state of Vermont.
The State of Vermont, directed by the Governor’s Office and the Department of Health, is collecting traffic data at Vermont ports of entry in an effort to analyze traffic flow and to determine how effectively mitigation measures are reducing travel. They are recording passenger vehicle statistics by state – they are not capturing plate numbers.
I am in an industry that has been deemed essential, but my childcare is closed.
Childcare is available for those who have been deemed essential to the COVID-19 response. Workers in critical businesses and who are working out of the home and do not have other options are eligible for childcare. Visit: https://vem.vermont.gov/essentialpersons
There are renters in local AirBNBs and other vacation rentals, is that allowed?
The order makes clear that lodging facilities – which includes hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, short term rentals (e.g. VRBO, Homeaway, Airbnb, etc.), and all public and private camping facilities and RV parks – are to be closed except for stated exemptions when supporting the state’s COVID-19 response as outlined in Addendeum 7. Additionally, the Governor has suspended online lodging reservations.
Under this order, the Vermont State Police and local law enforcement will monitor lodging providers for compliance and work with the Attorney General’s Office on additional compliance measures if needed. If you witness a violation of this order, notify local law enforcement.
I’m in an essential industry, but don’t have what I believe to be a safe workspace. What can I do?
To report unsafe work conditions contact the Vermont Department of Labor at 800-287-2765 or file a workplace safety complaint at: https://labor.vermont.gov/form/safety-complaint-form
I understand the state is running short on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), I have some that is unused, can I donate it?
You can make a donation offer of PPE and other needed medical supplies by visiting www.vem.vermont.gov/donate. Individuals can also donate unused, unopened N95 or surgical masks by simply dropping them off at your nearest Vermont State Police Barracks’ (https://vsp.vermont.gov/stations)
How can I help?
The state of Vermont is compiling a list of those in the medical sector and other professions like truck drivers, plumbers, and many others who are willing to donate their time to COVID-19 response and recovery. Please visit the state’s volunteer portal at: www.vermont.gov/volunteer.
Is volunteering allowed under the Stay Home/Stay Safe order?
Yes, provided it is with an agency that is deemed necessary for public health and safety. The best way to volunteer is virtually, but if you want to help by packing donated food or something out in the community, you can only do so if the non-profit is eligible to be open, and can provide a safe workspace with sufficient social distancing between volunteers.
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