Rep. Sibilia March 17th update

Good evening,

Food security – if you do not have food or shelter and you do not have family, friend or financial resources to acquire food or shelter, please be in touch.


Vermont Retail and Grocers Association

Coronavirus Resource Guide — VRGA While COVID-19 is not widespread in Vermont we are sending this communication to our members to help you respond in the event of exposure in the workplace. vtrga.org


Department of Motor Vehicles 90-day renewals extension

I’m doing double duty this week and learning more about remote conference calling at our regional development corporation. If you are local to the Windham County Region, check out the BDCC business resiliency page.

DMV encourages public to use online and mail services to support state’s coronavirus mitigation efforts. Read details on the extension here

Department of Children & Families guidance on childcare facilities released

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today issued a directive and announced additional guidance for preK-12 schools and childcare centers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Governor directed childcare centers across the state to close normal operations but encourages continued operation exclusively where needed to provide childcare services for workers who are essential to Vermont’s ongoing effort in community mitigation of COVID-19.  more


Vermont Secretary of State guidance

We’re sure that as the current COVID-19 outbreak results in changes to local and state government services, as designated community leaders you are getting a wide range of questions from your constituents. We have certainly received a much higher volume of inquiries from local government officials related to the Open Meeting Law, elections, and public records access.

To that end, we wanted to make you aware of the guidance we have issued from our office. I have attached a memo we sent today to Town/City Clerks, to be circulated among local officials. That memo is attached, and you can also find it on our website. I have include our full email to the Clerks below, for your information, so that you are aware of what we are sending to towns in your district.

We have updated our website with division specific updates, as we work agency wide to respond responsibly to this global health threat. Many questions your constituents have related to our Office of Professional Regulation, theVermont State Archives and Records AdministrationCorporations and Business ServicesElections, and Municipal Assistance, can be answered on our website, and as always you or your constituents can reach out to our office for assistance.

We will be keeping this content updated as new developments emerge.

As you may have seen, our office buildings have been temporarily closed to the public, but we’re still 100% operational, with staff who are not in the office tele-commuting and some on-site services available by appointment only.

We are still here to assist Vermonters and ensure the high levels of customer service people expect when they contact our office, while working to protect the public and our staff


Town News:

. Twin Valley student meals schedule

Starting Friday March 20th the Searsburg town office will be closed to the public. Calls and emails can be used now until further notice. searsburgtc@gmail.com for clerk
searsburgtr@gmail.com for Treasurer
802-464-8081 to reach clerk or Lister
P.O. Box 157. Wilmington, VT. 05363 to reach office by mail

There is an extension until May 1st for dog licensing. There is a mailbox outside the town office if you wish to leave anything for the clerk.

Thank you for your patience! Please everyone stay well!
Josie Kilbride. Searsburg town clerk

Jacksonville General Store

During these stressful and uncertain times we have remained open to ensure our community can get the essentials they need. After much thought and consideration we have come to the difficult decision to LIMIT STORE HOURS. We will be closing this evening at 5:30 pm. To ensure proper cleaning, stocking and regular sanitation we will be operating daily from 10:30 am until 5:30 pm until further notice.

We strongly believe that our staff should feel free to be home to care for their families. If any staff member should decide to remain home, there will be no negative repercussions from us. When our great nation returns to its normal state, they will still have their job.That being said, we may need to adjust our schedule again and appreciate your support and understanding.

We know that these changes are hard. For most of us this will be an extreme inconvenience, for others this will be much more. If you are, or know a local family, that will have food insecurity because of job loss or children not being in school, please contact us. We will do everything we can to help, it will be kept confidential.

We ask that if you are high risk, please do not go without. We will make the necessary arrangements to ensure you too get what you need.
Contact us here on messenger, or call the store
368-2822.
From our family to yours

Department of Financial Regulation Bulletin Regarding COVID-19 Prescription Drug Refills Visibility


Montpelier, VT – On March 16, 2020, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation issued Insurance Bulletin #210 regarding COVID-19 Prescription Drug Refills.  

The purpose of  this bulletin is intended to ensure that health insurance plans regulated by the Department of Financial Regulation continue to provide access to prescription drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This bulletin applies to health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBM).

  • In order to minimize the need for Vermonters to physically visit pharmacies, the department is directing insurers to make at least a 30-day supply of medication available to members refilling their prescriptions.
  • The department encourages, but does not require, that insurers make available a larger-than-30-day supply when appropriate.
  • Narcotic and specialty medications shall continue to be subject to each insurer’s standard refill policy.
  • The department encourages insurers and PBM to work with retail pharmacies to offer home delivery services and to expand use of mail-order pharmacy services.
  • Insurers and PBMs are reminded that retail pharmacies must be permitted to fill prescriptions in the same manner and at the same level of reimbursement as mail-order pharmacies.

If patients need assistance picking up prescription medications, please contact your local pharmacy for assistance.

Connect with the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation on Twitter, Facebook, and on our website.


Vermont Supreme Court Declares Judicial Emergency
Suspends All Non-Emergency Superior Court Hearings

Montpelier, VT -On March 16, 2020, the Vermont Supreme Court declared a Judicial Emergency due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The Emergency will extend until April 15, 2020, unless further extended by order of the Court. Notwithstanding any rule or timeline inconsistent with the Emergency Order, all nonemergency Superior Court hearings, whether evidentiary or non-evidentiary, will be postponed. The Order cites specific exceptions for high-priority cases that must be heard. All Judicial Bureau hearings are postponed. more on appearance by phone or video


Info for our second homeowners and residents

Vermont’s weekend residents and second homeowners are also deeply committed friends, neighbors and customers in our resort communities. And taxpayers in our towns and state.

Before our second homeowners decide to come to your home in Vermont at this time, we ask you to please consider that our rural community’s healthcare resources could feel a strain from meeting resident Vermonters needs if there is a wider outbreak and if there are ways you might help alleviate some of that strain.

If you come:

As mom and sister of military members and their families who have relied upon the compassion and care and healthcare of residents of other states and countries, and a mom to children who have worked hard to travel abroad for months at a time, I’m reminded about how important it is to maintain our shared sense of humanity.

We have Vermonters in other states and countries that we want to be cared for if they get sick or need to be fed.

Please know that Vermont House members from towns with large second homeowner populations are working together to ensure the possible variance in population is understood by those planning possible healthcare scenario responses.
  • Vermonters are being asked to call before going to the emergency room or doctor’s office due to concerns about overwhelming the healthcare system. Please see this excellent advice and decision matrix from the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center for all persons needing any medical attention at this time.
  • Our Ambulance and Rescue services are appropriately concerned about their ability to properly care for an enlarged population in a national healthcare emergency.
  • Recreational and non-essential gatherings of 50 people or more are cancelled until April 15th by Executive Order of Vermont’s Governor
  • Mount Snow has shut down for the year, Mass MOCA has closed, and many local restaurants are closed until further notice.
  • Some of our establishments are offering takeout or delivery services, and we encourage you to patronize those services if you find – after your thoughtful and deliberative consideration of the capacity of our rural healthcare resources – that you need to be at your weekend residence.
  • Please bring essential resources with you.

A solid statement just issued from fellow Southern Vermont Legislator Kathleen James: Until or unless there’s an interstate travel ban imposed by the federal government, second homeowners and other guests may continue to arrive in Vermont, seeking what they feel is a safer place for themselves and their families. Many of these folks are Vermont taxpayers, and contribute in significant ways to our year-round tourism, retail and hospitality businesses. And our summer “snowbird” residents, in particular, are often deeply involved in local events and philanthropy. In the face of a global health threat, however, we need to look at things through a different lens. Now is a good time for all of us, together, to actively support local businesses — getting take-out from restaurants and buying gift certificates to keep cash flowing into the economy. It’s also a very important time to contribute to our nonprofits and social-service agencies — many will be strapped for resources. It’s also vital to think carefully about infrastructure. In many cases, people are leaving regions that have robust retail and healthcare sectors — lots of doctor’s offices, hospitals, grocery stores and big-box chains — and arriving in a rural town where these resources have a much more limited capacity. Regardless, I hope we welcome anyone and everyone — in the same way that we want Vermonters living or staying elsewhere to be welcomed and cared for. No one benefits from an “us versus them” mentality. —Rep. Kathleen James (D-Benn 4)


Domestic Violence assistance

Hotlines and shelters will remain open. People impacted by sexual and domestic violence can still access the support of an advocate during a sexual assault forensic exam, when requesting a relief from abuse order, and for help accessing other crucial resources. Member organizations of the Vermont Network are putting systems in place to be able to provide remote advocacy as much as possible, using phone, video and other strategies to connect with and support people who need help.

Contact your local organization for more information about how they are responding, and continue to refer people impacted by sexual and domestic violence to call the local hotline.

ONLINE RECOVERY RESOURCES/MEETINGS:

https://unityrecovery.org/digital-recovery-meetings Offering online recovery support groups which will be available four times daily at 9AM12PM3PM, and 9PM EST..https://www.12step.org/social/online-meetings/Offers a variety of online meetings and various other outside resources.

https://www.AA-intergroup.org Offers online meetings with specialized topics with a variety of meeting formats (i.e. chat, text, e-mail, etc.).

https://www.addictionrecoveryguide.org/…/on…/online_meetingsOffers a variety of online communications, including chat rooms, message boards, etc. They also offer online media and online meetings with specific meeting topics (i.e. cocaine anonymous).

https://www.intherooms.com/home/Offers online meetings with specialized topics. They have multiple modalities, including 12 step, non-12 step, over all wellness, and overall mental health..

https://www.lifering.org/Provides online meetings using Zoom. They already have a set schedule for all 7 days of the week with various speakers already scheduled..

https://na-recovery.orgOffers a recovery chat rooms using text chat. They also provide other recovery resources such as testimonies, readings, etc..

https://nachatroom.orgOffers daily online meetings with 24/7 text chat with other members. They also offer a variety of extra resources, such as meditation for NA, relapse prevention, and other recovery-oriented resources..

https://NAvoices.comSpecifically a narcotics anonymous forum and recovery community that uses text chat, Skype, and phone calls.

https://www.smartrecovery.org/Offers online meetings and an online community with message boards and a chat room.

https://stepchat.comOffers a variety of meetings based on an already set schedule using text chat.

https://womenforsobriety.org/community/#Offers online support with open forums where women can share and seek support 24/7 plus text messaging support schedules 2 times a day. They also offer phone support.


Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us 

Kind regards, 

Rep. Laura Sibilia 
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham

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