Rep. Sibilia: May 19th update

Good evening,

It has been 67 days since March 13th when the state of emergency was declared in the US and in Vermont. We have all been through a lot of dramatic changes during that time. In my old offices at the Chamber and at BDCC I had the following sentence written on the white board: “Change is stressful.” That was to remind me that; whether we were seeing changes for the better, or enduring difficult or unexpected situations, or trying to do something really hard – it was normal to be stressed and important to recognize where the stress was coming from: fear of the unknown, not knowing if we would get it right, the possibility of letting others down.

These are stressful times. Some of us have lost loved ones during this time, some been laid off without pay for eight weeks waiting for unemployment, some have had to shutter their investments and lay off employees and some of us are trying to figure out when we can safely visit our children or parents. Let’s remember to take care of ourselves and each other, and encourage and support those we encounter in person or online. Thank you to everyone working essential jobs and all I see out there volunteering, going out of your way to cheer others, patiently trying to work through federal and state and local bureaucracy.

As more and more businesses reopen, a debate about wearing masks into retail establishments has continued to emerge. All workers are required to wear a mask – that is to protect you. The Governor has not yet required masks to be work in public by everyone else, but towns are able to decide this on their own and a number have. It is possible the legislature could also pass legislation requiring masks.

Be Smart, Stay Safe

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said at a press conference on Monday that although the data continues to show Vermont is doing well in its efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, we cannot let our guard down.

As Vermont slowly reopens, physical distancing from others, wearing face coverings and handwashing continue to be essential. As a cautionary tale, Dr. Levine said that over the weekend, Clinton County, NY registered nine new cases and 27 close contacts — as a result of parties in Plattsburgh.

4 bars in Turnip Town?
AT&T customers in Searsburg, Wardsboro, Whitingham and Halifax – there is new limited mobile cell service in town for regular AT&T customers. Apparently it does not currently work on pre paid phones. Have you been able to access it? I’m not talking about boosters in your home, but new cell signal in your town. I’d like to understand how many people are actually getting a signal. Comment here or email me at

“Not following guidelines can fuel the virus’ spread in a single instance,” Dr. Levine said, noting that COVID-19 has by no means disappeared. Vermont’s positive trending data “doesn’t give us a pass” when it comes to making these behaviors part of our daily lives.

Secretary of Natural Resources Julie Moore gave some updates on Vermont Parks and Recreation facilities, which can be found here.

Tomorrow Governor Phil Scott has said he will be announcing an economic relief package. I will be hosting an online coffee/tea hour at 5:30 to talk specifically about that economic relief package and about what is happening related to broadband. You are welcome to join the discussion.

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

Coffee with Laura call at 7 am Monday | 5:30 pm on Wednesday.
You can join that call here:

From the Update on New Work Safe Additions to the Be Smart, Stay Safe Order:


Commuter (day trip) traffic to and from Vermont by those who travel daily between Vermont and adjacent states is authorized for essential travel (e.g. essential work, healthcare, groceries) and currently authorized daily work, family visitation, or recreation. Travel to and from Vermont from outside the daily commuting area AND by those who do not travel to and from adjacent states daily is currently restricted and subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Vermont. 

Those participating in essential work or currently authorized work that requires an overnight stay may utilize the state’s lodging, camping and short-term rental properties if the individual self-certifies upon arrival that they are authorized to work in Vermont, have not been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, and have not experienced COVID-19-like symptoms in the past 24 hours including a fever above 100.4 F, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache or new loss of taste or smell. 

Leisure travel to Vermont – either for the day or overnight – remains prohibited unless the traveler self-quarantines for 14 days upon arrival. 

For more information about how to quarantine, visit the Vermont Department of Health’s quarantine chart.

Vermont Tourism News

DMV COVID-19 Continuity of Operations Plan for Alternative Services

Is Vermont ready to reopen?


Vermonters are known for our commitment to community, our willingness to serve, and for going the extra mile to help those in need. As our state confronts this once-in-a-century challenge, sometimes it’s the little things – those simple, random, everyday acts of kindness and goodwill – that can make all the difference.  

Moving forward, to call more attention to good deeds happening throughout Vermont, and the good people making them happen, I will be recognizing acts of kindness, selfless service and goodwill happening throughout our state. 

I’m asking you to help me by sending in nominations so we can recognize these Vermonters for their actions and efforts. Remember, no act of kindness or service is too small. 

Thank you for submitting nominations, and thank you for helping make Vermont strong. 

We will get through these challenging times, because we’re united as Vermonters.

With gratitude,

Philip B. Scott

Please click here to submit a nomination. 

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

Monday May 17th 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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