Scott press briefing: Masks, journey map, nursing houses, Shoreham farm staff

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by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott’s press briefing today featured several data presentations, an update on the outbreak at Champlain Orchards in Shoreham and indicated that guidelines to increase indoor nursing home visitation should be available this week.

At the briefing (see full video below), Scott acknowledged “Vermont Mask Day” to encourage facial coverings to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

Scott in particular praised the Rossi Foundation, Burton Snowboards, and Concept 2 for providing thousands of masks. The state has distributed 400,000 free masks, mainly through the local municipalities.

Public Safety Commissioner Michael Schirling also updated on Vermont’s availability of personal protective equipment. He said the state is in good shape at the moment but is looking to increase reserve’s as a contingency.

Schirling noted that the state’s goal is to have a 60-day supply of PPE and another 60-day reserve. Already, 3.4 million PPE items have been distributed by the state.

Right now, the state has 5.3 million surgical gloves on hand, which is a 37-day supply and has a 58-day supply of N95 masks.

Because of the progress of treatment, the number of ventilators required has been scaled back, Schirling said, with 83 in reserve and another 45 on order; no COVID patients currently requiring one.

Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak then presented the state’s weekly COVID-19 data modeling report.

Vermont continues to have the lowest case count in the nation and one of if not the lowest rate. There have been no deaths due to COVID-19 in Vermont in two months.

There have also been only four cases reported at K-12 schools and only 51 cases among college students from nearly 100,000 tests

However, Pieciak that while the health news in Vermont continues to be good, it is edging up in October. September was the best month since the pandemic began for Vermont, but October has seen more general cases, with the outbreak in Shoreham being the largest single event.

But the news elsewhere in the region and the nation is getting worse.

In the state’s travel map, which extends as far as Virginia and Ohio, cases are increasing and more counties have moved into red or yellow. The result, Pieciak said, is that Vermont is now at its lowest population level for non-quarantining travel into Vermont at 2.9 million. The free (green counties) travel population peaked in late August at 6.6 million.

Green counties have nearly disappeared south and west of northern New England and Upstate New York.

Also concerning is a spike in cases in Quebec. But the Canadian border is still closed to recreational travelers.

Across the US, all regions are showing an increase except for the Midwest which has recently leveled off.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, updated the briefing, as he did on Monday, with the COVID cases at the Shoreham apple orchard.

He assured the public there is no on-going health threat, nor is there any threat to earing apples or consuming any other product from Champlain Orchards.

The migrant farm workers likely brought the virus with them and were still in their quarantine period when the “index” case presented.

There are no more guest workers scheduled to come to Vermont until next year, but those already here may move on to other agricultural work in Vermont.

There are a total of 27 positive cases associated with the Shoreham event, Dr Levine said, with all the cases confined to the guest workers. One worker was eventually hospitalized.

Despite the setback, the apple crop is expected to be harvested on time.

Governor Scott then took questions from the press corps.

Scott last night vetoed the Act 250 upgrade bill which he said had been stripped down in the Senate.

He said he was disappointed that after nearly two years of work that went into the House version was then left with only two provisions: an extension of the temporary trail provision and the forest fragmentation piece.

He then signed an executive order basically putting those pieces into temporary measures and then urged the Legislature to restart the process in the new biennium which starts in January.

The Legislature could possibly reconvene for a veto session, though that seems unlikely at this point.

Human Services Secretary Mike Smith was asked what would happen to test sites, many of which are conducted outdoors now.

Smith said they are already moving sites inside and have plans in place. For instance, he said the state building in Rutland, with its spacious lobby, will be pressed into service as a test site.

Scott said the state is still on course to conduct over 1,000 tests a day.

The governor was asked about President Trump removing his mask and meeting with staff after returning to the White House from the hospital, where he was treated for COVID-19.

Scott has previously voiced his displeasure with the actions of his fellow Republican and said, “I’m concerned with the president’s lack of leadership.”

Scott said the only way to fight the virus until a safe and plentiful vaccine is available is to continue to practice the four principals that Vermonters have been practicing: wearing a face covering; social distancing; staying home when sick; and washing hands frequently.

The governor also seems very wary of opening the economy even more (“turning the spigot”) as health data worsens in the region and across the country.

For now he said he will wait and see and move forward as guided by the data and science.

Scott said the administration is working with the ski industry in order to proceed with a safe and economically viable season. Indoor activities are still limited to 50 percent capacity.

Most ski areas are already putting in place many of the protocols, which include more distancing, limits on lifts, how the lodge can be used, and food service (expect a lot of box lunches and more outdoor service).

Scott said that anyone can still visit Vermont as long as they follow the travel guidelines, which for most people involve a quarantine of two weeks before going out in public, or in this case umping on your snowboard.

Mike Smith provided good news to those residents in long term care facilities (nursing homes, etc), their families and friends.

He said within a few days there will be new guidelines for more flexibility and an increase in the opportunity for indoor visitation.

Because of the vulnerability of older people to COVID-19, the LTCs faced severe visitation guidelines and were basically shut down early on in the pandemic.

The guidelines are expected to further increase the opportunities for residents to engage with family and friends. Guidelines already had been loosened for outside visitation within strict protocols, but with cold weather closing in, guidelines are being expanded indoors.

Finally, the governor was asked about his reaction to a widely distributed photo from a wedding at the Woodstock Inn in which it appears that guests were not sufficiently masked or socially distanced.

Both Michael Schirling and Commerce Secretary Lindsay Kurrle already were in contact with the inn and reported that the inn explained their procedures and would work with the state on further gatherings.

Schirling said the photo probably looked worse than what actually transpired, but he acknowledged that it does appear that not all protocols were followed by the inn or the guests.

He said while there potentially could be action taken against an individual or organization for not following protocols, in general the state has taken a successful “education and engagement” approach in such cases.

Governor Scott Press Briefing (presentation starts about the 32 minute mark. Video courtesy Orca Media)

 

PHASED RESTART

Operations deemed “essential” may continue to operate under pre-existing guidance with the addition of the mandatory health and safety requirements above.  

To safely reopen certain operations impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and not defined as essential, Governor Scott has directed the Agency of Commerce – in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety – to authorize, subject to mandatory health and safety requirements listed above and additional sector specific guidance below, the following: 

  • 1.1 Outdoor Businesses
  • 1.2 Low or No Contact Professional Services
  • 2.2 Farmers Markets
  • 3.1 Manufacturing, Construction, and Distribution Operations  
  • 4.1 Outdoor Recreation and Fitness   
  • 4.2 Outdoor Recreation Businesses, Facilities and Organizations
  • 5.1 Retail Operations
  • 5.2 Drive-In Operations 
  • 6.1 Lodging, Campgrounds and Other Accommodations
  • 7.1 Restaurants, Catering, Food Service, and Bars
  • 7.2 Hair Salons and Barber Shops
  • 7.4 Religious Facilities and Places of Worship
  • 8.1 Close Contact Business (Gyms, Fitness Centers, Spas, Nail Salons, etc.)
  • 8.2 Overnight Summer Camps and Limited Residential Summer College Programming
  • 8.3 Indoor Arts, Culture and Entertainment
  • 9.1 Sports/Organized Sports Including Youth Leagues, Adult Leagues, Practices, Games, and Tournaments
  • 10.1 Occupancy Limits for Event Venues (Weddings, Funerals, Parties, Concerts, Large Sporting Events)
  • 11.1 College and University Campus Learning

1.1 Outdoor Businesses

  • Those who exclusively or largely work outdoors (such as landscaping, painting, parks maintenance, recreation maintenance, delivery work, etc.) may resume operations.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

1.2 Low or No Contact Professional Services

  • Services operating with a single worker or small office environments (such as appraisers, realtors, municipal clerks, attorneys, property managers, pet care operators, and others) may operate if they can comply with the mandatory health and safety requirements listed above, and the mandatory maximum occupancy limits (currently 50 percent fire safety capacity, 1 person per 100 square feet, and a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors).
  • Remote work is required whenever possible. 
  • Operators must maintain a log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department. 

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

2.2 Farmers Markets

  • Farmers markets may open using limited in-person operations to ensure consumer access to quality, healthy food if:
    • They adhere to all municipal ordinances and rules and their local municipality agrees to allow opening.  
    • Markets must significantly alter their business practices to eliminate crowds and reduce contact between vendors and customers including a temporary transition away from shopping and social events to primarily a food distribution system.
    • Markets are directed to follow any additional guidance issued by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.  

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

3.1 Manufacturing, Construction, and Distribution Operations

  • Manufacturing, construction, and distribution operations that ceased operations for more than seven days during the state of emergency may restart with as few employees as necessary to permit full operations while maintaining compliance with the mandatory health and safety requirements above, and: 
    • Interior residential and commercial construction may occur in occupied structures as of May 22.  

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

4.1 Outdoor Recreation and Fitness 

Vermonters are encouraged to participate in outdoor recreation and fitness activities, while limiting themselves to those activities that can be enjoyed while adhering to social distancing and hygiene requirements, and which require low or no physical contact with anyone outside their immediate household. This includes, but is not limited to biking, hiking, walking, running and other outdoor fitness activities; golf, tennis, skate parks and other outdoor no-contact sports; horseback riding, boating and paddle sports, fishing, hunting, photography and nature walks.    

  • These opportunities are for Vermont residents, those from non-quarantine counties in New England and New York, and those who have met the quarantine requirements.  Visitors from other states, and countries, must follow the state’s quarantine requirements before engaging in these activities in Vermont.
  • Vermonters participating in outdoor recreation activities that are not physically strenuous are required to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others. Masks may be removed for strenuous activities and exercise if the individual is not in the presence of others and not participating in organized sports (please refer to Section 9.1 of this guidance for additional information about requirements surrounding organized sports).

Nothing in these guidelines should be interpreted to override the need to continue to observe requirements for use of trails or property. For instance: mud season limitations on the use of trail networks; that users obtain appropriate permission from private landowners where required; and the expectation that, where needed, users will check with state or local land managers regarding conditions that remain in effect. Additional information on good etiquette and safe practices for outdoor recreation is available at: https://fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19 and https://vtfishandwildlife.com/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19. 

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

4.2 Outdoor Recreation Businesses, Facilities and Organizations 

Businesses, facilities and organizations which support or offer outdoor recreation and fitness activities that require low or no direct physical contact may return to operation under all applicable health and safety requirements established in Governor’s Emergency Order. These include, but are not limited to state and municipal parks, recreation associations, trail networks, golf courses, big game check stations, and guided expeditions. In addition, organizations, businesses and facilities catering to outdoor activity must adhere to the conditions set forth below: 

  • Require an “arrive, play and leave” mentality. Groups may not gather before or after activities (no tailgating, etc.).
  • These opportunities are for Vermont residents, and those who meet the cross state travel guidance about traveling to and from Vermont.
  • Implement measures, including signage and registration processes, that reinforce parks, facilities, trails, etc. are only open to Vermonters and those who have met the cross state travel guidance.
  • Implement measures, including signage, discouraging contact sports and games. For example, outdoor basketball courts may be open to “shoot hoops,” but full contact games should be discouraged.
  • Eliminate services or transactions that result in touch points and/or staff-customer interactions that are not absolutely necessary. This includes prioritizing credit card, telephone and electronic payment; cash transactions may only be accepted as a last resort.
  • Reduce high contact surfaces and common areas, and disinfect rental equipment between users.
  • Play structures may be open to the public if they are properly signed reminding users not to use them if they or anyone in their household has been ill and to wash hands before and after use. Organizations responsible for the play structure are encouraged to provide hand sanitizer for users.
  • Limit gatherings of people to as few as possible to ensure physical distancing of six feet or more can occur. All outdoor events must comply with the special event guidance in the Work Safe memo. Large outdoor facilities such as trail networks, beaches, and municipal parks may have more than 150 people in them as long as there is no single gathering or event exceeding 150 people and all guests can maintain six feet of physical distancing between households.
  • Restroom facilities may only be opened if they can be regularly cleaned and disinfected per CDC guidelines.
  • Organized sports must comply with the Work Safe Guidance included in the Work Safe Guidance Memo:  “9.1 Sports/Organized Sports Including Youth Leagues, Adult Leagues, Practices, Games and Tournaments”.
  • Pools and beaches may open if they comply with this guidance. Due to the limited size of pools, organizations shall follow the occupancy rules for event venues in Section 10.1 (currently 50 percent fire safety capacity or 1 person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors).

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

5.1 Retail Operations

  • Non-essential retail operations are limited to 50% (fifty percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater.  Operators must POST their temporary occupancy limit, and which method was used to determine it, prominently on all entrances. Posting templates are available at accd.vermont.gov. 
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred. 
  • Curbside pickup remains the preferred method of operation.  When possible, retailers should take steps to schedule or stage customer visits, such as waiting in cars or outside, to ensure lower contact operations.
  • Yard sales and garage sales may occur at private residences.
  • Organized outdoor markets, such as flea markets, shall adhere to the farmers market guidance issued by the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
  • Pick-your-own agricultural producers, including berry farms and orchards, shall adhere to retail guidance, and follow the best practices identified in the Agency of Agriculture’s Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan. (Find additional information and FAQs about the Pick-Your-Own Restart Plan.)

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

5.2 Drive-In Operations

Drive-in operations including, but not limited to, movie theaters, fireworks displays, parades, restaurants, religious services, graduation ceremonies, and other gatherings may occur subject to the mandatory health and safety guidance above and:

  • Vehicles must be spaced a minimum of 6 (six) feet apart.
  • People should stay in or near their vehicles to prevent interaction with other parties at drive-in operations.
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred.
  • Restrooms on site must be cleaned and sanitized regularly.
  • Any concessions on site must be done via takeout or delivery or pursuant to any future food service guidance.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

6.1 Lodging, Campgrounds and Other Accommodations

  • Multi-room lodging operations may book 100 percent of rooms.
  • Lodging operations and short-term rentals, campgrounds and marinas may accept overnight reservations from:
    • Vermont residents.
    • Travelers who travel from a county with a similar active COVID-19 caseload as Vermont as identified by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
    • Travelers from a high-risk area not identified as having a similar active COVID-19 caseload if they complete a quarantine in Vermont before arriving at a lodging property.
    • Travelers may complete either: (i) complete a 14-day quarantine; or (ii) complete a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test – in their home state and enter Vermont without further quarantine restrictions if they come to Vermont in a private vehicle (including private air travel) directly from their home.
    • Travelers may complete either: (i) a 14 day quarantine; or (ii) a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test – in a Vermont lodging establishment regardless of destination origin or manner of travel (travelers must stay in their quarantine location for the duration of quarantine other than to travel to and from a test site).
  • Operators shall require a signed document or digital check box at time of reservation and check-in from the guest(s) attesting they meet the quarantine requirement, have traveled from a county with similar active COVID-19 caseload per the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD), are an essential/authorized worker. The Agency of Commerce has provided a Certificate of Compliance form at accd.vermont.gov that meets this criteria. However, operators may utilize an alternate method including those completed via electronic means such as email, or digital check box using this specific language:

    I certify that I have reviewed the State of Vermont out-of-state traveler guidelines and travel map and comply with current health and safety requirements for traveling to, from, and within the State of Vermont. I further certify that I understand all travelers should stay home if ill (with any symptoms); maintain physical distance of at least 6’ from anyone outside their household; wear a cloth mask when in public spaces; and wash or sanitize hands often.

  • Operators shall recommend that out-of-state guests register with Sara Alert to get daily reminders via text, email or phone from the Vermont Department of Health  
  • Any guests that exhibit signs of illness or COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival may not be allowed to check in.  If symptoms begin during their stay they must be asked to leave and return home if possible. If departure is not possible, guests must self-isolate for the remainder of their stay and the Vermont Department of Health must be contacted immediately. 
  • All lodging and camping operations with more than 10 (ten) employees must complete and keep on file a reopening and training plan. VOSHA and the Agency of Commerce have provided a template at: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/business/restart
  • Lodging operations and campgrounds must alter normal operations to maximize social distancing of guests.
  • Check-in/out should be done via phone or electronic means to the greatest extent possible.
  • A room or accommodation must be thoroughly cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines before another guest may use the accommodation.
  • Operators may accommodate events with 50 percent of fire safety occupancy or 1 person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors, not including staff).
  • Only one party should use an elevator at any given time.
  • Amenities may only be open if they are done so in accordance with the Executive Order and the Phased Restart Work Safe Guidance. Amenities must be cleaned and sanitized between guest usage and be managed to restrict access to 50 percent of fire safety occupancy or one person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors.
  • Food service may only be offered in compliance with current restaurant guidance. Indoor dining is restricted to 50 percent of fire safety occupancy or one person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors.
  • Direct contact services (such as check-in, bell, valet, housekeeping, etc.) must be limited to the greatest extent possible. Cashless / touchless transactions are strongly preferred.
  • Operators must maintain an easily accessible log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

7.1 Restaurants, Catering, Food Service, and Bars

  • Signs must be prominently posted at all entrances stating that no-one with a fever, respiratory illness, or symptoms of COVID-19 (see VDH guidance for the current symptom list) is allowed on premise. 
  • Occupancy & Seating 
    • Restaurants, catering, food service, and bars may allow 50 percent of fire safety occupancy or 1 person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors or their maximum licensed seating capacity, whichever is less.
    • Seating must be available for all patrons and seating must allow for physical distancing of at least 6 feet between seated dining parties. Standing is not allowed at this time. Customers must be seated while consuming food or beverages.
    • Bar seating may only be open if a physical barrier, such as a piece of plexiglass, separates the patrons from bartenders and the drink preparation area.
    • A counter area, such as a lunch counter or diner counter, may be open if there is at least six feet between customers and six feet between the customer and any waitstaff and no food or beverage production or storage occurs at the counter.
    • Reservations or call ahead seating is required. Reservations should be staggered to prevent congregating in waiting areas. Waiting areas must accommodate physical distancing.  
  • For “fast food” takeout or counter service (no wait staff), no reservations or logs of customers are required.  Please note that an absence of logs may require a public announcement of possible exposure if a case is identified. 
  • Consider using rolled silverware and eliminating table presets. Disposable/single use condiment packets are encouraged.  Multi-use condiments and all other items for general use must be cleaned and sanitized between customers.  
  • Use of shared food service (buffet style) and self-serve utensils, plates or napkins, are prohibited. However, a staffed banquet style buffet may occur if serving lines can accommodate physical distancing.
  • Customers are required to wear face coverings when not eating. 
  • Restrooms should be monitored and routinely cleaned and soap dispensers regularly filled. 
  • Disinfect all front-of-house surfaces including door handles, screens, phones, pens, keyboards; as well as tables, chairs and other areas of high hand contact frequently. 
  • Licensed caterers and licensed manufacturers may follow this guidance for either outdoor or indoor Catering Event Permits and Special Event Permits in compliance with all Department of Liquor and Lottery permitting and license requirements. These events must adhere to the event venue guidance found in section 10.1 allowing 50 percent of fire safety occupancy or 1 person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors.
  • Bars, breweries, distilleries, wineries, cideries and tasting rooms may offer outdoor beverage service in compliance with this outdoor dining guidance, and the temporary outdoor consumption notification and permit stipulations established by the Department of Liquor and Lottery.
  • Operators must maintain an easily accessible log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department. This must include at least the name and phone number of one member of a party making a reservation with the date and time the person visited the establishment.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

7.2 Hair Salons and Barber Shops

Hair salons & barber shops may reopen subject to the mandatory health and safety requirements listed above, and: 

  • Operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet; or 10 total customers and staff combined, whichever is greater.
  • Additionally, operators should separate customers in chairs, to achieve physical distancing of 6 feet for any activity that will occur for more than a few moments (e.g. a retail transaction).
  • To the greatest extent possible, operations shall be by appointment only with specified time periods for each client. No walk-In appointments or at home visits (house calls) are allowed.
  • Operations may serve only Vermont residents or others who have completed the prescribed quarantine.
  • For retail sales, curbside pickup is preferred; no testing / demonstration of products is allowed; and cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred. 
  • Operators must maintain a log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department. 
  • Only hair care services shall be offered during the first phase.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

 

7.4 Religious Facilities and Places of Worship

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

8.1 Close Contact Business (Gyms, Fitness Centers, Spas, Nail Salons, etc.)

Fitness centers (gyms) and similar exercise facilities, massage therapists, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors, businesses that require home visits, such as cleaning services and similar operations, and businesses that require limited close personal contact may resume in-person operations subject to the mandatory health and safety requirements listed above, and:

  • Operations are limited to 25% (twenty-five percent) of approved fire safety occupancy; or 1 customer per 200 square feet, with a maximum of no more than 75 indoors and 150 outdoors.
  • Operators should separate customers to maintain physical distancing of 6 feet for any activity that will occur for more than a few moments (e.g. a retail transaction). 
  • To the greatest extent possible, operations shall be by appointment only with specified time periods for each client. No walk-In appointments are allowed. 
  • Operations may serve only Vermont residents or others who have completed the prescribed quarantine. 
  • Locker rooms, waiting areas, and other common areas shall be restricted to occupancy limits noted above. 
  • For retail sales, curbside pickup is preferred; no testing / demonstration of products is allowed; and cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred. 
  • Personal instructional services/lessons (such as art, music, personal training, academic) may occur within the maximum occupancy limits mentioned above at a commercial location or residence. (Physical distancing is encouraged to the extent possible.)
  • Operators must maintain a log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department. 

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

8.2 Overnight Summer Camps and Limited Residential Summer College Programming

Overnight summer camps and limited residential summer college programming shall operate in accordance with Health Guidance for Childcare Programs, Summer Programs and Afterschool Programs issued by the Vermont Department of Health on May 13, 2020. Recognizing the unique ability of residential programs to control and monitor the activity of their participants, the following supplemental guidance shall be in effect June 7th: 

  • Overnight summer camp programs may operate at 75 percent their bed capacity. 
  • Limited residential college programming refers to college programming where students are living on a campus for no more than 8 weeks with no more than 50 participants. 
  • Overnight summer camps and limited residential summer college programs may operate in groups of greater than 25 as long as physical distancing occurs between individuals.  
  • Programs are encouraged, but not required, to break larger camps into small groups of not more than 25 individuals in a single pod, including staff and counselors, to reduce the risk of camp-wide exposure. Wherever possible, the same staff should remain with the same group each day.  
  • All out-of-state staff and out-of-state campers must complete one of the following quarantine protocols for overnight summer camps and limited residential college programming (each camp is responsible for ensuring their campers and staff comply): 
    • 14 DAYS AT CAMP: Campers are “quarantined” at camp, with their pod, for 14 days. Campers may not interact with anyone outside of their pod for the 14 days. 
    • 14 DAYS AT HOME: Campers self-quarantine at home for 14 days before travelling to Vermont, provided they come directly to camp without making any stops along the way that could potentially expose them to the virus. (This option is not available to campers who fly to Vermont) 
    • 7 DAYS AT CAMP + NEGATIVE TEST RESULT: Campers are “quarantined” within their pods for 7 days and, if they remain symptom-free, they are then tested for COVID-19 using a PCR test. If test results are negative, campers are subsequently permitted to mix with other campers outside of their pod. 
    • 7 DAYS AT HOME + NEGATIVE TEST RESULT: Campers self-quarantine for 7 days at home. Prior to departing for camp, they take a PCR test for COVID-19 and remain quarantined while they await the result. Timing is arranged so that they depart for camp within 24 hours of receiving a negative test result, and they come directly to camp without making any stops along the way that could potentially expose them to the virus. (This option is not available to campers who fly to Vermont). 
  • Families must exercise extreme caution when bringing students to camp: 
    • No more than one family member may travel with the camper; 
    • No overnight accommodations will be available to families dropping campers off; 
    • Families should practice curbside drop off without entering the camp facility; and 
    • Camp programs should organize carpooling, van service or bus service from other states to reduce unnecessary cross state travel. 
  • Campers and staff must wear cloth face coverings whenever in the presence of others, except in those exceptions identified in the Governor’s Executive Order, and policies must be in place to promote physical distancing. 
  • Camps shall prohibit non-essential visits from family and friends. 
  • Staff and other visitors who are not staying at the camp for the duration of the camp shall not have close physical contact with campers or staff. 
  • Camps must maintain a log of all staff, campers and visitors, including their contact information, in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department. 

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

8.3 Indoor Arts, Culture and Entertainment (Effective 6/1)

  • Libraries, galleries, museums, theaters and other indoor arts, culture and entertainment organizations may allow 50 percent of fire occupancy or 1 person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Posting templates are available at accd.vermont.gov.
  • Cashless/touch-less transactions are strongly preferred.
  • Curbside pickup remains the preferred method of operation. When possible, organizations should take steps to schedule or stage customer visits, such as waiting in cars or outside, to ensure lower contact operations.
  • Organizations should close or remove high touch entertainment features, including arcades and playgrounds.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

9.1 Sports/Organized Sports Including Youth Leagues, Adult Leagues, Practices, Games, and Tournaments

  • Beginning September 8, cloth face coverings must be worn by all players, coaches, officials, staff and spectators at all times when physical distance of six feet cannot be consistently maintained, including during practices, scrimmages, games, meets and competitions for sports that involve contact or close proximity.
    • Anyone with a documented medical or behavioral reason for not wearing a facial covering should not be required to wear one.
    • Referees and other game officials are exempt from wearing a mask during active play if masking inhibits their ability to officiate (i.e., blow a whistle). Referees and other game officials must have a mask on their person at all times and are required to wear a mask during arrival, departure, warm-ups, half-time, etc., and anytime there is need to approach a player or coach to explain a call or manage the game when six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained.
  • All players, coaches, officials, staff, and spectators should complete a health check before arriving at practice sessions, scrimmages, games, meets or competitions. At a minimum, the following questions should be considered:
    1. Have you been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19?
    2. Do you feel unwell with any symptoms consistent with COVID-19? For example, have they had fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea?
  • Promote an “arrive, play, and leave” mentality; actively discourage gathering in groups before or after activities. 
    • Players should be encouraged to arrive dressed to play in order to minimize or eliminate time spent in locker rooms or other indoor, congregate settings getting changed.
  • The risk associated with different types of sports programs is a function of the degree of contact between participants and the type of setting or venue in which the contest is held. Sports leagues and organizations should give strong consideration to implementing modifications to reduce intensity of face-to-face contact and promote physical distancing (i.e., eliminating face-offs in boys lacrosse; modifying corner kicks in soccer; removing checking in hockey).
    • Outdoor sports >> no or low-contact – cross country running (with staggered starts), golf, tennis, bass fishing tournaments, sideline cheer, single sculling, alpine skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing, track and field – may hold team practice sessions, games, competitions and meets. The total number of people present at any meet or competition may not exceed current limits on outdoor event size – currently 150. A meet may involve multiple groupings through the day if the groups do not interact with one another.  For example, meet organizers may consider staggered starts and departures to ensure the number of participants on-location at a single point in time does not exceed limits on event size.
    • Outdoor sports >> short-duration, incidental contact – soccer, softball, baseball, girls lacrosse, field hockey, 7-on-7 football, crew with two or more rowers – may hold team practice sessions, scrimmages and games.
    • Outdoor sports >> close proximity or moderate contact – boys lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, 3-on-3 basketball – may hold team practices sessions, scrimmages and games.
    • Indoor sports activities (e.g., training sessions and matches) should only be considered when there is no viable outdoor alternative. For example, track and field meets and soccer/futsal matches should only take place outdoors as long as weather allows. Indoor sports facilities should take steps to ensure adequate ventilation.
      • Indoor sports >> no or low-contact – track and field, individual event swimming, gymnastics, figure skating – may hold team practice sessions, competitions and meets. The total number of people present at any meet or competition may not exceed current limits on indoor event size – currently 75.
      • Indoor sports >> short-duration, incidental contact – indoor soccer/futsal, ice hockey, broomball, volleyball, team dance – may hold team practice sessions, scrimmages and games. The total number of people present at any meet or competition may not exceed current limits on indoor event size – currently 75.
    • High contact sports // indoor sports >> close proximity or moderate contact – football, wrestling, rugby, 5-on-5 basketball, cheerleading – may hold practice sessions limited to no and low contact physical conditioning and skill building drills. Full contact scrimmages and games and cheer stunting are not permitted. As indicated above, lower contact formats, such as 7-on-7 football, sideline cheer or 3-on-3 basketball played outside, may be considered as alternatives.
  • Meet organizers or home teams must maintain list of participants in each game/match/grouping for 30 days to assist in contact tracing.
  • Sporting events in Vermont may only occur between or involve Vermont-based teams or teams from counties eligible for quarantine-free travel to Vermont, based on the most recent map published by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
    • Individual players from bordering states who belong to a Vermont-based team, club, organization or league may participate but must follow Vermont state recreational visitation guidelines.
    • Individual matches between clubs from outside Vermont may be held at a Vermont facility only if the total number of people present, including players, coaches, officials, and spectators do not exceed current limits on events — currently 75 indoors and 150 outdoors – and all participants are from counties eligible for quarantine-free travel based on the most recent map published by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
  • Vermont players and teams traveling to out-of-state games, meets or tournaments in locations that are and/or with participants from areas ineligible for quarantine-free travel to Vermont, based on the most recent map published by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, must follow current guidance around quarantine upon return to Vermont before returning to play, school or work.
    • Vermont players and team traveling to out-of-state games, meets or tournaments in locations eligible for quarantine-free travel and involving participants only from areas eligible for quarantine-free travel to Vermont, based on the most recent map published by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, do NOT have to quarantine upon return to Vermont.
  • “Jamboree” or tournament-style play (one team playing multiple games vs multiple opponents in a single day/weekend) is not currently permitted in Vermont. This will be reevaluated on November 1st.
  • The number of people present (participants, coaches, officials, staff, and spectators) at games, meets and competitions should be limited as much as possible and measures should be put in place to ensure social distancing between households. Spectators should be actively discouraged from attending practices and scrimmages.
    • At no time shall the total number of people present exceed current limits on events — currently 75 indoors and 150 outdoors – nor shall the number of people present exceed 50 percent of the fire safety occupancy limit of a venue or 1 person per 100 square feet.
  • During times when athletes are not actively participating in practice or competition, physical distance of at least six feet between individuals should be maintained.  Teams should structure team meetings to limit congregation and ensure adequate physical distance between players on the sidelines or benches.
  • During competition, alter spacing of participants, officials, and coaches to achieve adequate physical distancing to the greatest extent possible (e.g., consider moving baseball/softball umpires behind the pitcher and moving the catcher further behind the plate).
  • Equipment, and other supplies touched by participants, must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected regularly. Limit sharing equipment as much as possible.
  • No spitting on the field or sideline.
  • No sharing of water bottles.
  • Venues with multiple facilities (such as multi-field locations, multi-ice rinks, multi-court gyms) must ensure that the number of people present at each facility does not exceed 50 percent of its fire safety occupancy or 1 person per 100 square feet and current limits on events – a maximum of 75 people indoors per facility (i.e., rink or court) and 150 people outdoors per facility (field).
    • Venues with multiple facilities may have more than one unit of the maximum event size as long as those units are in distinct portions of the facility (a different rink, unique and distinct fields) and the distinct gatherings have no interaction with one another.
    • Schedules should be established to avoid contact between different user groups.
  • This guidance will be reviewed and updated, as necessary, on or about October 15, 2020.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

10.1 Occupancy Limits for Event Venues (Weddings, Funerals, Parties, Concerts, Large Sporting Events)

Event venues, arts, culture, and entertainment venues, and restaurants serving the public may accommodate:

  • 50 percent of approved fire safety occupancy to the set maximum below; OR
  • One customer/person per 100 square feet of customer facing space to the set maximum below if no fire safety occupancy is established.
  • Operations may not exceed 75 total people for inside operations or events regardless of their fire safety occupancy or square footage calculation; AND
  • Operations may not exceed 150 people for outside operations or events regardless of their fire safety occupancy or square footage calculation. 
  • Staff and vendors are not counted in the maximum number.
  • Food service operations at events must comply with the Restaurant, Catering, Food Service and Bars guidance.
  • Event organizers must maintain an easily accessible log of customers and their contact information for 30 days in the event contact tracing is required by the Health Department. This must include at least the name and phone number of every attendee, including staff.
  • **Outdoor service, events, and gatherings are strongly preferred.**
  • Special guidance for large outdoor venues (race tracks, baseball and football stadiums, fairgrounds, outdoor concert venues)
    • Large outdoor event venues that can usually accommodate more than 1,000 people may be able to exceed the 150 maximum limit by creating multiple distinct event locations that meet the event criteria.
    • These distinct event locations within the same event must be separated by a physical barrier (fencing, rope, etc.) and at least 25 feet.
    • Signage must be prominently posted prohibiting groups interacting with other groups.
    • These venues must ensure that the 150 people in each distinct event location do not interact with one-another by providing separate:
      • Parking areas
      • Concessions and vendors
      • Bathrooms
      • Entrances and exits
    • All events must be pre-ticketed, no walk-up customers are allowed.
    • Event venues must maintain guest lists by grouping and information about what vendors had contact with each grouping for 30 days to assist in contact tracing.
  • An event venue (indoors or outdoors) may host multiple maximum groupings through the day if the groups do not interact with one another.  For example – a craft fair could schedule multiple different groups of 150 throughout the day to come to a show as long as they staggered the arrivals, ensured all members of a group departed before the second group entered, and followed event guidance.  Vendors would not count as part of the group of 150.

Phased Restart: Full list of sectors

11.1 College and University Campus Learning

Colleges and universities may provide in-person campus learning in accordance with the Mandatory Guidance for College and University Campus Learning published on the ACCD Restart webpage.

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