Good evening all,
Happy activity this week with the governor’s Wednesday press conference opening up many outdoor recreation opportunities and encouraging family and friend gatherings of 10 in Vermont with Vermonters or family and friends from away that have quarantined for 14 days – very welcome news for me as I know hope to see one of my daughters and my mom this weekend.
During the Wednesday Press Conference, Dr. Levine put forward a helpful idea/request for Vermonters as they slowly begin to socialize – Keeping a log of dates and who you have come in contact with. This is an easy way to help with contact tracing should you become sick, and contact tracing is one of the ways we can keep sick people at home and get healthy people back to work. A reminder that tomorrow the governor will have another press conference and there will likely be additional announcements and questions.
Today I spent time on a call with the Agency of Commerce and other legislators asking for a timeline for opening for our hospitality businesses. Even if the dates are not yet known. There is a fair amount of pressure building statewide for this type of information to be disseminated. The administration was also very clear with us that decisions on opening are made with medical doctors weighing in, consistent with the entire Vermont State of Emergency.
Vermonters have done an excellent job slowing the spread of the virus and giving emergency responders time to ensure our healthcare systems were not overwhelmed by virus outbreaks. One of the challenge we are facing with re-opening in Vermont is the lack of a national closing, mitigation or reopening strategy. This means it is unclear what the rules are from state to state, and that we can end up with unintended behaviors at the borders. Vermont is working with our neighbors, but some of them, like New Hampshire and Massachusetts, are still seeing a rising number of cases.
A reminder that if you need assistance with unemployment, I need this information emailed to email@example.com in order to try and assist:
- last 4 SS #
- date you filed first claim
- Unemployment (UI) or Pandemic Assistance for self employed (PUA)
Please send with this DISCLAIMER: I am providing the above information to my state senator or representative with the understanding that it will be used solely for the purpose of assisting me with my claim for unemployment benefits. I hereby authorize my senator or representative to share this information with the Vermont Department of Labor, with other senators, representatives, and with legislative staff in order to better assist me. I understand that I have the expectation under Vermont law 21 V.S.A. § 1314(e)(1) that information provided by me to the Department of Labor in the course of filing an unemployment claim will not be released to the public in any way. By submitting this form, I waive that expectation of confidentiality to the limited extent of sharing such information with members of the Vermont General Assembly and their staff
Hope to see some of you tomorrow morning on our 7 am coffee call.
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)
For more information on:
- COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data, visit www.healthvermont.gov/covid19.
- The Governor’s actions, visit governor.vermont.gov/covid19response.
- The state’s modeling, visit https://dfr.vermont.gov/about-us/covid-19/modeling.
Vermonters with mild symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested
The Health Department is encouraging all Vermonters with even mild symptoms to contact their health care provider to get tested. This includes parents of children who have symptoms that could be related to COVID-19.
Your provider will refer you to a hospital or health center near you that can perform the test. Testing is free, and testing sites are following precautions to make sure you are safe. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 2-1-1 to connect with a community or hospital-connected clinic.
Be sure you know the symptoms associated with COVID-19, which have been expanded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition to fever, cough and shortness of breath, symptoms may include:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Health care professionals are urged to ensure Vermonters with any symptoms be tested. The state is expanding its testing and contact tracing capabilities and is ready with the necessary supplies and resources. We are relying on health care professionals to help achieve this important public health goal. Visithealthvermont.gov/covid19-providers for more information.
By being tested for any associated symptoms, Vermonters can help us quickly identify and isolate outbreaks, and better understand COVID-19 in Vermont.
IDEA BANK: Future of the Vermont State College System
The Office of the Speaker is hosting an “Idea Bank” for the future of the Vermont State College System. This effort leverages the collective knowledge and creativity of Vermonters while providing a database to organize submitted ideas. Those that have been submitted, thus far, have been organized into broad categories, which will be continually updated as feedback is received. If you would like to contribute your own thoughts to the Idea Bank, please email them to your Vermont State Representative.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing
GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT ANNOUNCES RE-OPENING OF SOME OUTDOOR RECREATION AND LIMITED SOCIAL INTERACTIONS IN LATEST RESTART PHASE
Governor Phil Scott 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.
- 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.
The Governor’s order, Addendum 13, includes additional health and safety guidelines for these interactions, including following safety and hygiene protocols, limiting non-essential travel, and protecting those in at-risk categories, who should continue to stay home. It also directs the Commissioner of Health to provide additional recommendations.
“These small gatherings will give Vermonters a chance to reunite and enjoy each other’s company. But we must do so carefully,” said Governor Scott. “There is no specific set of rules, or enforcement measures that we can put in place here. We need Vermonters to be smart and thoughtful during these visits. We have to remain vigilant, so we don’t lose ground as we continue, slowly and safely, reopening Vermont in a way that puts public health first.”
Addendum 13 also authorizes businesses, non-profit and government entities that support or offer outdoor recreation and outdoor fitness activities with low or no direct physical contact to begin operations on May 7. These include but are not limited to state and municipal parks, recreation associations, trail networks, golf courses, big game check stations and guided expeditions. Campgrounds, marinas and beaches are not permitted to open at this time.
Guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through outdoor recreation and outdoor fitness, including “arrive, play and leave” requirements, signage and registration to limit facility use to Vermonters and those who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement, elimination of non-essential touch points and/or staff-customer interactions, reduction of high contact surfaces and common areas and limiting rental equipment and restroom facilities to those which can be thoroughly disinfected, are included in the order and in additional guidance from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. These operations are also subject to all health and safety precautions set in Addendum 12.
“As we continue to take modest steps to reopen our economy, there are also equally important steps related to how we spend our down time – our play time,” said Julie Moore, secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources. “As Vermont’s winter transforms to a bright and green spring, many of us are itching to get outside and go a bit further afield and no longer are Vermonters being asked to limit outings to within 10 miles of their homes. Now, more than ever, we need to rekindle this relationship with the outdoors, but we must do so in a way that respects physical distancing and helps keep all of us healthy.”
For a full list of health and safety requirements for all newly opened operations, click here to view Addendum 13.
To view the ACCD’s specific safety guidelines and protocols for businesses, as well as additional resources, visit accd.vermont.gov.
For more information on:
- COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data, visitwww.healthvermont.gov/covid19.
- The Governor’s actions, visitgovernor.vermont.gov/covid19response.
- The state’s modeling, visit dfr.vermont.gov/about-us/covid-19/modeling.
Governor Scott Press Conference:
Following remarks, the Governor and administration officials will be available for questions from members of the media.
Friday May 8th 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: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-xsDpLCa0iRMj4dQrqum7uoXaQmqeGvT
- Many Vermonters interested in telecommuting after Covid-19 crisis, survey finds
- ACCD: More steps in reopening economy
- Woolf: Layoff pace continues to ease in Vermont
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Laura Sibilia
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham