Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Vermont, US, extend state of emergency and COVID-related restrictions through at least May 15.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Rutland, Vermont

This alert began 10 Apr 2020 21:32 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 issued an executive order extending the state of emergency through at least May 15 as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The extension of the state of emergency also applies to the following existing mandates:

  • An order requiring residents to stay at home except to perform essential tasks and for nonessential businesses to close
  • A ban on travelers from Florida, Louisiana, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Chicago, and Detroit entering Vermont, with travelers entering from other US states or foreign countries being 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


Under Vermont's COVID-related regulations, residents may only leave their homes to obtain basic goods, attend to a medical issue, care for a person in need, or to travel to/from employment at an essential business or service. Individuals may also engage in outdoor recreational activities provided they comply with social distancing guidelines. Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and fuel stations, as well as media, agriculture, transport, security, and manufacturing companies, remain open. Essential government services are continuing to operate; nonessential businesses may operate only with their employees working from home.

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 measures taken by the authorities in Vermont are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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 - Executive orders: governor.vermont.gov

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