Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Department of Taxes today announced expanded eligibility for Economic Recovery Grants for Vermont businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the original eligibility criteria, a business was required to have at least one W-2 employee who was not an owner of that business. Starting today, August 3, businesses with at least one W-2 employee – now including those who are an owner – are also eligible and encouraged to apply.
“Businesses of all sizes are doing everything they can to survive under the difficult circumstances caused by this pandemic, and it’s our responsibility to step up and support them in the recovery,” said Governor Scott. “We are hopeful these new requirements will provide some additional relief as we continue to rebuild together and emerge from this crisis stronger than before.”
Montpelier, Vt. – As the state continues its sustained efforts to encourage mask use as a tool to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable, Governor Phil Scott today announced strengthened mask requirements in public places and congregate settings.
“Based on national and regional data on how the virus is spreading – and rather than waiting like other states have – I feel we need to act now to protect our gains, which have allowed us to reopen much of our economy,” said Governor Scott. “That’s why today I signed an Order, which will strengthen our current mask mandates, so that we do not take steps backwards and we can stay open into the fall as people move more of their interactions indoors,” Governor Scott added.
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Vermont State Housing Authority and the Vermont State Housing Finance Agency today announced $30 million in housing assistance to those affected by COVID-19. The programs, first proposed by the Administration and amended and passed by the Legislature, utilize federal CARES Act funding to provide relief for those tenants unable to pay rent, landlords suffering from a loss of rent payments and those lower income homeowners needing assistance in paying their mortgages.
“Landlords, renters, homeowners and those experiencing homelessness have all been impacted by this virus and need assistance, which is why we’ve worked closely with the Legislature to provide this relief,” said Governor Phil Scott. “As we continue to fight this virus, keep Vermonters safe and restart our economy, we know our recovery starts with everyone having a safe and secure place to call home.”
Montpelier, Vt. – As state data and expanded testing and tracing capacity continue to support reopening, Governor Phil Scott today announced he will expand the number of states covered under Vermont’s county-by-county quarantine-free travel policy, which allows direct travel from designated counties without a 14-day quarantine requirement.
In early June, the Governor, in close consultation with the Vermont Department of Health, opened up travel to and from counties in New England and New York with less than 400 active cases of COVID-19 per one million residents without a quarantine requirement. Effective July 1, this policy will be expanded to counties below this threshold in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia. Quarantine requirements remain in place for those traveling to and from other regions.
June 23, 2020 Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Department of Labor today announced changes to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program that will reduce employers’ UI tax rates and increase the maximum weekly benefit amount for UI claimants.
“This tax relief will help reduce the burden on employers who’ve had to make difficult decisions to protect the health and safety of their workers and help limit the spread of COVID-19 in Vermont,” said Governor Scott. “We know Vermonters made a tremendous economic sacrifice in order to respond to this virus, and we will continue to pull every lever we can to help workers and employers recover from this pandemic.”
Montpelier, Vt. – As state data and expanded testing and tracing capacity continue to support reopening, Governor Phil Scott today announced the state will raise occupancy limits for event venues, arts, culture and entertainment venues, as well as restaurants.
Beginning June 26, these venues can expand capacity for events and dining to 50% of approved occupancy size or one person per 100 square feet of customer facing space. This change will allow for indoor events of up to 75 people and outdoor organized events of up to 150.
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today signed an executive order to update and extend the State of Emergency in Vermont to July 15. The latest order reflects all current re-openings and eased restrictions, which have been underway since late April to account for the State’s low case counts and continued slow growth rate.
State data and modeling shows overall spread of COVID-19 continues to be limited, even as the state has seen an isolated outbreak with 84 related cases in the Winooski area.
Governor Scott also detailed how a robust testing and tracing program; better knowledge of the virus; greater public awareness of, and adherence to, preventive measures; health and safety requirements across sectors; and increased stock of critical healthcare supplies, the state is much better positioned to track, manage and box in outbreaks and slow spread, which is critical to managing this virus until there is a vaccine.
Montpelier, Vt. – As state data and expanded testing and tracing capacity continue to support reopening, Governor Phil Scott today announced the resumption of limited indoor seating at restaurants and bars and a data-driven approach to allow travel to and from designated areas without a 14-day quarantine requirement.
“One of the many things that Vermont is so well known for is our great local food and craft brews, so I know how important this sector is to our economy,” said Governor Scott. “I know we still have a very long way to go to help our restaurants get back on their feet but we’ve got to start somewhere and we’ll be able to build on this progress if our numbers continue to move in the right direction.”
“Protests have been an important part of our democracy, driving change throughout our history. The peaceful protests we’ve seen in Vermont are an important outlet for our communities to express their sadness, anger and frustrations, and to call for change. This is a critical moment in our history, and it is our responsibility, as public servants, to listen and allow for these protests to safely continue. I thank Vermonters for their commitment to protecting each other, both through the change we are trying to seek and how we are seeking it.” – Governor Phil Scott
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:
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…
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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)
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.”