Vermont Updates Stay Safe Order – Gatherings, Summer Camps, Close Contact Businesses

Vermont is again “opening the spigot” to allow gatherings of up to 25 people if certain rules are followed. There are new guidelines for close contact businesses (you can get your hair cut again) and summer camps and college programs, as well. Pick your own agriculture has a green light to get going, as do flea markets, gyms, libraries, massage parlors, museums, tattoo parlors, theaters, nail salons, and the similar.

None of this looks particularly easy or fun, and there are a lot of hoops to jump through to gather and work correctly. Masks and distancing  rules still apply. Participants must give up contact information. Curbside pickup remains encouraged. Still, if your goal is to get out and about, here are the new guidelines for you to follow:


Census Survey Assistance Available

2020 Census – SHAPE YOUR FUTURE.

It starts with each of us doing our part. We do this is by completing the 2020 Census questionnaire. You can do it online or by phone. It is easy, safe and takes around 10 minutes to complete.

Completing the questionnaire allows you to influence the amount of money that comes to Vermont for many of our essential programs…programs that benefit our health and safety, that pay for our roads, for local government, for schools, for hospitals, and for so much more…


The 2020 Census and Second /Seasonal Home Ownership

Instructions for Second Home Owners

Second home owners should know they must respond to the Census – once for each home they own. Please use the following instructions to complete the survey for each house that you own.

1. Go to 2020Census.gov and enter another form once you have completed the survey for your primary residence.

2. In the address location, where it *specifically* says, “Where were you living ON APRIL 1?” disregard that instruction about the date, and put in the seasonal/second home address.


VT Governor Scott Announces More Limited Re-Openings

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced the resumption of additional business operations, including outdoor seating at restaurants and bars, hair salons and barber shops and some additional health services.

“I believe these steps forward will be welcome news for many and because Vermonters are being smart to stay safe, our data continues to show we’re still moving in the right direction,” said Governor Scott. “As more Vermonters get back to work and there are more places to visit and meet with others, it is more important than ever to stay vigilant about your health and the health of others.”


158th Fighter Wing F-35A Flyover Friday

Governor Scott has announced that F-35A  fighter planes will be flying over Vermont municipalities on Friday, May 22. They take off at noon in Burlington and will fly for 90 minutes, over Bennington, Berlin, Brattleboro, Burlington, Essex Junction, Middlebury, Morrisville, Newport, Randolph, Rutland, Springfield, St Albans, St Johnsbury, Townshend, White River Junction, and Windsor.

This is billed as a salute to health care workers and front-line COVID-19 responders and essential workers.


Governor Scott Announces Vermont Economic Relief and Recovery Package

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced a $400 million economic relief and recovery package, using funds from the $1.25 billion the state received from the Federal CARES Act. 

The two-phase proposal, which is expected to be the first of multiple packages necessary to fully recover, will start with $310 million for immediate emergency relief to the most impacted sectors and businesses to be followed by $90 million in long-term recovery investments.

“The relief and recovery package we are proposing today, takes bold action to bring support to Vermonters in need, as we continue to manage this public health crisis and open the economy back up,” said Governor Scott. “We are looking to address the immediate cash needs of businesses so they can survive, while also laying the foundation for our economy to emerge stronger and thrive over the long term. These local businesses and their employees drive our economy, put food on the tables of Vermonters and help fund critical needs for families, public schools and so much more. We must step up and act quickly to help them survive this emergency and go on to thrive in the future.”


VT Governor Scott Extends State of Emergency; Updates Orders

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today signed Addendum 14, a Be Smart, Stay Safe order to extend the State of Emergency to June 15 and update previous emergency orders to reflect re-openings and eased restrictions announced in recent weeks.

State data and modeling indicate the spread of COVID-19 continues to slow and Vermont now has one of the lowest 3-day and 7-day growth rates in the country. The Governor and Department of Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, however, continue to caution that the state must also consider neighboring states where the virus is much more prevalent and outbreaks are still occurring.

“Vermonters have stepped up in a time of crisis, following guidance from the beginning to quickly slow the spread and keep our health care system from being overwhelmed. These efforts have saved hundreds and hundreds of lives and given us time to build the testing and tracing capacity we need to contain future outbreaks,” said Governor Scott. “The important thing to remember is that the smarter we are about our individual actions, and the more disciplined everyone can be during each step forward, the more steps we’ll be able to take to safely restart Vermont.”


VT Governor Scott Announces Limited Socializing

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced that outdoor recreation and limited social interactions may resume under strict health and safety precautions, as state modeling continues to indicate a slow in the spread of COVID-19.

While the Stay Home, Stay Safe order remains in effect, if able to comply with outlined safety measures, the Governor’s latest order allows the following social activities to resume:

Gatherings of 10 or fewer. Vermonters may now leave home for outdoor recreation and fitness activities with low or no direct physical contact and to resume limited social interactions and gatherings of 10 or fewer, preferably in outdoor settings that allow for greater physical distancing protocols.
Inter-household socializing. Members of one household may gather – and allow children to play – with members of another trusted household, provided health and safety precautions are followed as much as possible.   


VT Governor Scott Allows Limited Elective Procedures

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced limited elective procedures would resume, which had previously been put on hold as Vermont’s health care system focused on preparing for, and responding to, COVID-19.

The Governor’s decision comes as the state’s modeling continues to show spread of COVID-19 has slowed – thanks to Vermonters’ physical distancing efforts – and the state’s ability to track and trace outbreaks of COVID-19 has become more robust. Health care providers who recommence these procedures have been provided guidance and must meet specific mitigation criteria to protect patients and clinicians from possible infection.


Governor Scott Announces Additional Economic Re-Opening Steps

Montpelier, Vt. – As modeling indicates continued progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19, Governor Phil Scott today announced a third incremental, evidence-based step forward to put Vermonters back to work.

If able to comply with outlined safety measures, the Governor’s latest order expands on Addendum 10 and Addendum 11 to allow the following operations to operate:

Crews of 10 or fewer employees per location/job to perform outdoor work and construction work in unoccupied job sites. (Effective May 4)
Manufacturing and distribution operations may resume with a maximum of 10 employees in any location if they are low-density and ensure employees are always six feet apart. (Effective May 4)


Governor Scott Announces Additional Openings of Phased Restart

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today outlined some additional openings as part of the phased restart of Vermont’s economy, introduced last week.

The Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order remains in effect, but with modeling continuing to indicate Vermonters are significantly slowing the spread of the virus, the Administration is taking a cautious, incremental and evidence-based approach to putting Vermonters back to work.

Governor Scott has emphasized the need for continued – and even expanded – vigilance as the state implements its restart strategy, saying: “Restarting the economy requires each of us to take a lot of personal responsibility. Each and every one of us has to do our part to help prevent the spread and protect the vulnerable by adhering to all of the social distancing and public health guidance.”


VT Department of Financial Regulation Announces Auto Premium Refunds and Reductions

Montpelier, VT – Governor Phil Scott and Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) Commissioner Michael Pieciak today announced that more than forty additional auto insurance companies have filed plans to return premiums or reduce their rates for Vermont policyholders. DFR has moved quickly to approve these plans which amount to over $14.6 million in savings for Vermonters to date.

All Vermont-based auto insurance companies, along with most major out-of-state insurers, have developed refund plans for Vermonters, which combined, represent approximately 90% of all personal auto policies in Vermont. Each of these insurers has seen a reduction in claims as Vermonters do their part to stay home to comply with the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe directive. 


Governor Scott Issues New Guidelines For Limited Back-To-Work

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today outlined an approach for the phased restart of Vermont’s economy, emphasizing the state’s modeling indicates initial steps can be taken while the Stay Home, Stay Safe order remains in effect.

To begin to execute this strategy, Governor Scott today signed an addendum to Executive Order 01-20, which – in order to start getting more Vermonters back to work – institutes new health and safety requirements and encourages the public to wear cloth face coverings.

It also directs the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) to issue guidance authorizing outdoor businesses and construction operations with crews of two or less and some single-person low contact professional services, such as appraisers, attorneys, realtors and others, to operate if specified safety requirements can be met. These openings are effective April 20.


Governor Scott Extends State of Emergency Through May 15

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today extended Vermont’s State of Emergency through May 15, which also extends the expiration date of all corresponding orders and directives issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The original State of Emergency, issued on March 13, was set to expire on April 15, as were the subsequent mitigation measures. As a result of this extension, all measures, including the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order, are now in effect until midnight on May 15 (note, schools remain dismissed for in-person instruction through the end of the school year).

“These are incredibly difficult times, and I know this extension is disappointing news for many. But the fact is, Vermonters are literally saving hundreds of lives by staying home,” said Governor Scott. “We are making big sacrifices to save lives, but we cannot let our foot off the gas just yet. We will continue to watch the trends, and as soon as the data shows a downward trend, we can open the spigot, a quarter turn at a time, to get folks back to work in a way that’s responsible and safe. Please know, I will work every hour of every day, for as long as it takes, to see Vermont through this and to help rebuild stronger than we were before.”


Governor Scott Orders Restrictions On Travel and Lodging

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today ordered additional restrictions on travelers arriving in Vermont and announced additional guidance for the lodging industry to enhance compliance with his Stay Home, Stay Safe order. 

The measures under the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, effective March 25, were implemented in consultation with the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health to minimize all unnecessary activities outside the home to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect the public. 

Governor Scott is taking additional 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. 


The 2020 Census Windham County UPDATE

Greetings iBrattleboro people,

My name is David Longsmith with the 2020 Census here in Windham County. I’m now a Census Response Representative and my job is to assist members of our communities with responding to the census questionnaire.


Signal Boosting for Vermont Legal Aid

Vermont Legal Aid Service Update:

Following the Governor’s State of Emergency declaration on March 14, 2020, Vermont Legal Aid will continue to serve its clients via telephonic and electronic means. While we have discontinued in-person access to our offices, clients may still contact our intake helpline at 1-800-889-2047 to receive assistance. Clients with a legal or benefits problem related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak also may receive assistance by going to https://vtlawhelp.org/ .


Governor Issues Stay At Home Order

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and directed the closure of in-person operations for all non-essential businesses.

These restrictive measures are in place to minimize all unnecessary activities outside the home to slow the spread of this virus and protect the public. These actions were implemented in consultation with the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health and his evaluation of the latest data.

“I want to be very clear about this: We need everyone to limit activities outside of the home and to practice social distancing at all times to slow the spread of this highly contagious and potentially deadly virus,” said Governor Phil Scott. “We all must do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 to minimize infections – particularly for those who are elderly or have underlying chronic health conditions – and prevent it from overwhelming our healthcare facilities. The more Vermonters who take this seriously and stay home, the faster we can return to normal.”


Governor’s Executive Order: Declaration of State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19 and National Guard Call-Out

From the Governor’s office:

“WHEREAS, since December 2019, Vermont has been working in close collaboration with the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and with the United States Health and Human Services Agency to monitor and plan for the potential for an outbreak of respiratory illness due to a novel coronavirus (a disease now known as COVID-19), in the United States; and

WHEREAS, this rapidly evolving global situation required the Governor to direct the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) to activate the Health Operations Center in February 2020 when VDH began to monitor and later, test Vermonters who may have been exposed to COVID-19; and


Vermont Companies Support Employees’ Call for Urgent Climate Action

Burlington, VT, January 23, 2020 – Some of Vermont’s most iconic companies gave employees time off today to lobby policy makers at the Statehouse in Montpelier.  More than 100 employees met with elected officials and called on the Governor and the legislature to make climate change a priority in this legislative session and to pass a package of laws to ensure that Vermont meets its goals of a 40% reduction of GHG levels by 2030, and 80-95% reduction by 2050.

The employees warned that Vermont’s failure to reduce carbon emissions is damaging to the economy, environment, and their way of life.