Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Vermont, US, lift restrictions on some businesses, maintain stay at home order, travel restrictions through May 15.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Rutland, Vermont

This alert began 22 Apr 2020 18:46 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Vermont (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 15
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Vermont Governor Philip Scott announced some businesses may reopen with limited operations, while maintaining orders that require residents to stay at home, and travelers from multiple states to self-quarantine, through at least May 15. These measures are part of the state's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Starting April 20, crews of up to two people will be allowed to perform outdoor work or construction work in unoccupied structures, while businesses that operate with a single worker, including attorneys, realtors, and clerks, can reopen as long as no more than two people are present within the office simultaneously. Retail businesses can resume curbside pickup and delivery services. In all these businesses, workers must maintain a proper distance from each other, must wear face masks, and must have frequent access to water and soap.

Orders requiring other nonessential businesses to close, or to operate exclusively with employees working from home, remain in place through May 15. Essential businesses and services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and fuel stations, as well as media, agriculture, transport, security, and manufacturing companies, remain open.

Authorities have also maintained through May 15 orders requiring residents to stay at home, except to perform essential tasks such as obtaining basic goods, attend a medical issue or perform outdoor recreational activities maintaining a proper distance from others. A ban is also maintained on travelers from Florida, Louisiana, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Chicago, and Detroit entering Vermont. Travelers entering from other US states or foreign countries are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. A ban on all lodging operations, except to provide shelter to the homeless, accommodations for healthcare and other essential workers, or space for quarantine facilities, also remains in place through May 15.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the orders in short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures is likely to accelerate in the coming weeks; however, officials may reimpose or extend restrictions further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

State of Vermont - COVID-19 Updates: healthvermont.gov

State of Vermont - State of Emergency extension: https://governor.vermont.gov/

State of Vermont - Phase 1 of Opening the Economy: https://governor.vermont.gov

State of Vermont - Health Guidelines for Businesses: https://accd.vermont.gov/