Rep Sibilia: April 26 update

Good evening,

We took some time this weekend to enjoy the beautiful weather on Saturday and making soup and doing inside projects today. I also spent time on several state issues.

The continued problems with the unemployment insurance system are unacceptable, and we spent time on Saturday talking about how/if the Windham County delegation can bring about change for our constituents. This evening House members received some hopeful news from the Speaker of the House that legislators will be able to get more directly involved in assisting their constituents. In addition, there was a call for legislators to volunteer time to inputting claims on behalf of Vermonters which I have agreed to do. I know we keep saying more capacity has been added to Department of Labor and yet still we see folks struggling to get the funding they have earned or in the case of self employed, been awarded. This week is no different, and I have been told that dozens more call takers are being brought on line.

Please reach out to me with your contact information if you are having difficulty getting unemployment, and especially if you are in danger of not having enough food or not having shelter.

Hundreds of people traveled to the Rutland Southern Vermont Airport in North Clarendon Friday to get Meals Ready to Eat, which were being distributed by about 15 members of the Vermont National Guard. Read VTDigger’s story

More food distribution events are scheduled next week:

I also participated in a series of calls and messages regarding statewide efforts to support the newly formed Communications Union Districts and accelerate expansion of broadband. On this topic, the Towns of Dover and Stamford are both considering joining the newly formed Deerfield Valley CUD. Tuesday at 6:30 the Dover selectboard will be meeting to talk more in depth about the effort.

There are new details on health and safety requirements for businesses that are opening and more business openings.

See this chronological high level listing of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Vermont State Response & Resources from the Governor’s website.

I hope to see some of you tomorrow morning for the 7 am Coffee call – in many ways it reminds me of the great conversations from my years serving coffee to regulars and visitors.

Coffee with Laura call at 7 am Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can join that call here:

Meeting ID: 734 376 857 Password: 003089 or by calling mobile
+16465588656,,734376857# US (New York)
+13126266799,,734376857# US (Chicago)

VPR: When Is It Safe To Ease Social Distancing? Here’s What One Model Says For Each State

By Nurith Aizenman
Across the U.S., state leaders are grappling with the challenging decision of when to relax the social distancing restrictions that have helped keep COVID-19 in check.

VTDigger: Handful of protesters rally against Scott’s ‘stay home’ order

By Kit Norton Protesters demonstrate against the Covid-19 statewide shutdown in front of the Statehouse in Montpelier on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Brattleboro Reformer & Bennington Banner: A note to our readers: What you should know

Bookmark for updates:
Vermont Department of Health 2019 Novel Coronavirus Current Status in Vermont Webpage for updates.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Disease page
World Health Organization Coronavirus Disease 2019


Governor Phil Scott 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.”

The Governor’s most recent order, signed Friday, directs any entity currently operating, or soon to be opened, to implement specified physical distancing, health, and sanitation measures, including requiring employees to wear face coverings for nose and mouth. It also requires all employers to provide – and all employees to complete – training on these health and safety requirements by May 4. VOSHA training is under development and will be released Monday, April 27.

If able to comply with the outlined safety measures, the Governor’s order allows the following operations to reopen:

  • Expanding on Addendum 10, outdoor businesses, construction operations and recreation maintenance work may operate with a maximum of five total workers per location. (Effective April 27).
  • Manufacturing and distribution operations, and interior construction of uninhabited structures, may resume operations with a maximum of five employees in one location, if they are low-density and ensure employees are always six feet apart. (Effective April 27). Corresponding guidance from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development makes clear that, consistent with Addendum 7, workers from out of state must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival; lodging properties remain closed to guests, including to non-essential out-of-state workers, except those previously exempted such as essential workers.
  • Outdoor retail space, previously restricted to curbside or delivery service, can allow in-person shopping with a maximum of 10 total people. (Effective April 27).
  • Farmers Markets may open May 1 with strict alterations that focus on food distribution and prevent congregating. They must meet the same health and safety requirements of all other operations and are directed to use a pre-order/pick-up model whenever possible. Local municipalities must approve reopening. Additional guidance will be provided by the Agency of Agriculture.

For a full list of health and safety requirements for all businesses and specifications for each newly opened operation, click here to view Addendum 11.

To view ACCD’s memo to business for specific safety guidelines and protocols, as well as additional resources, visit

For more information on:

Valley quilters and sewers stepping up to make face masks

Facemasks made by Tessa Atwood, of Hummingbird Hill Quilting.      Tessa Atwood photo

By Lauren Harkawik
WILMINGTON – Quilters and sewers around the community have been employing their skills, and fabric stashes, for a good cause in recent weeks. Tessa Atwood is making masks for organizations far and wide, including hospitals. Sewers such as Twyla Wallace, Mary Brady, and Angel Balch have been busy making masks to distribute within the community. read more


Montpelier – As detailed in Governor Phil Scotts recent order, signed on Friday, the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Agency (VOSHA) has developed training and other materials to inform Vermonters on appropriate safety measures necessary to return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Training and other materials were developed in conjunction with the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

All businesses and non-profit and government entities in operation must complete and document mandatory health and safety training by May 4, 2020.

“As we begin to reopen our economy and get people back to work, it is important that everyone understand the safety measures necessary for accomplishing safe and healthy workplaces,” said Interim Commissioner Michael Harrington. “

All employers must provide training and details of standard operating procedures to their employees. Training developed by VOSHA includes:

  • The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and an explanation of how the disease is spread;
  • Information on appropriate social distancing and personal hygiene practices, including those set forth in Addendum 11  and other applicable guidance; and
  • The types, proper use, limitations, location, handling, decontamination, removal, and disposal of any PPE being used.

As described in the recent order, employers may choose to adopt an additional training program that meets or exceeds the VOSHA-provided standard, or additional policies and procedures that are applicable to the employment environment and employees’ duties, which shall not be less restrictive than those developed by VOSHA.

Training materials can be accessed on the Department of Labor’s website or downloaded and printed. Once training is completed, a certificate of completion will be made available to keep for the individual’s records. To document compliance, employers will be asked to keep record of all employee certificates.

Training materials can be found by visiting

Governor Scott Press Conference:

Following remarks, the Governor and administration officials will be available for questions from members of the media.

Monday April 27th at 11:00 a.m.

GENERAL PUBLIC VIEWING:Most Vermont TV and radio stations live broadcast the briefings. The Governor’s media briefing will be available to stream through ORCA Media’s youtube channel, linked here:

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or 

Kind regards, 

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

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