What you need to know now
The coronavirus attacks the lungs, making it harder for people who smoke or vape – tobacco, cannabis or anything else – to fight off the virus, putting them at much greater risk of severe illness, even death. There has never been a better time to quit. Find resources at 802QUITS.org
when to Call
- If you have questions about COVID-19: Dial 2-1-1. If you have trouble reaching 2-1-1, dial 1-866-652-4636. You can also use the Ask a Question tool on this page.
- If you are sick or concerned about your health: Contact your health care provider by phone. Not everybody needs to be tested. Do not call the Health Department. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.
- If you are returning from international travel or cruise travel, stay home and self-monitor for 14 days. Read guidance from the CDC.
COVID-19 Activity in Vermont
Select “COVID-19 Activity in Vermont” below for case numbers, table and map.
Information updated daily by 1:00 p.m. Numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Last updated: March 30, 2020
|Positive test results*||256|
|Total tests conducted||3,930|
|People being monitored||219|
|People who have completed monitoring||546|
*Includes testing conducted at the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory, commercial labs, and other public health labs.
+Deaths of persons known to have COVID-19. Death certificate may be pending.
Governor Phil Scott has called on Vermonters to help protect our most vulnerable – the elderly and the very ill. He declared a State of Emergency and has since announced several strategies to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
- Directed Vermonters to stay home, leaving only for essential reasons, critical to health and safety, such as: personal safety, groceries or medicine, curbside pick-up of goods, meals or beverages, medical care, exercise, or care of others. If leaving the home, Vermonters should adhere to social distancing policies, including remaining six feet from others (except for those with whom they share a home) and thoroughly and regularly washing hands. Read the executive order.
- Required residents and non-residents coming to Vermont from outside the state – for anything other than an essential purpose – should home-quarantine for 14 days, following a March 30 order from Gov. Phil Scott. Travel to Vermont by anyone located in COVID-19 “hot spots” is discouraged. Read the order.
- Restricted visitor access to long-term care facilities.
- Postponed all non-essential adult elective surgery and medical and surgical procedures, including all non-essential dental procedures. Read the directive.
- Asked insurers to offer policyholders a grace period for nonpayment of insurance premiums due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read the update.
- Ordered all businesses and not-for-profit entities, except for those providing critical services, to suspend all in-person business operations. Operations that can be conducted online or by phone, or sales that can be facilitated with curbside pickup or delivery only, can continue. Read the executive order including a list of exemptions.
Education and Child Care
- Enacted of a Continuity of Education Plan for the orderly dismissal of all schools, and cancellation of all school-related activities, no later than Wednesday, March 18. Read the plan.
- Updated the plan for schools for preK-12 students to remain dismissed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, unless otherwise ordered by the Governor if the COVID-19 response should allow. Schools are required to have continuity of learning plans for remote learning implemented on or before Monday, April 13, 2020. Read the executive order.
- Directed child care centers across the state to close normal operations (except for those providing services for the children of essential personnel). Read the guidance.
- Announced changes to unemployment insurance requirements for people impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Find more information at the Vermont Department of Labor.
File for unemployment insurance benefits
- We are working closely with the state’s health care providers and hospitals, local governments, and across state programs and agencies.
- We work to identify people who may have been exposed. We assess their exposure risk and provide them with guidance for their health and recommendations for self-isolation or other measures.
- We keep the public up to date with current information through our website and other communication methods.
- Suspended in-person transactions at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Read the directive.
- Ended out-of-state travel for state employees.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I protect myself?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. Person-to-person spread of the virus is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Currently, there is no evidence to show that COVID-19 is spread through food, mail or paper products. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Take these everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs:
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you must go out, practice social distancing.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always wash your hands if your hands are visibly dirty.
If you returned from international travel or were on a cruise within the past two weeks or have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, and develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, contact your health care provider right away.
Cleaning your hands, and recipe for hand sanitizer
CDC recommends the following for hand hygiene:
Household members should clean their hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with someone who is ill, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
Hand Sanitizer Recipe (based on a recipe from the World Health Organization)
- 1 cup (250 mL) isopropyl alcohol (91%)
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) glycerol (or other moisturizer such as aloe vera gel, warm honey or olive oil)
- 2 Tablespoons (33 mL) water
Add the ingredients in the order listed above to a clean container, mixing with a spoon. If using honey, stir until the honey is completely dissolved. Keep this mixture out of the reach of children. The final concentration of isopropyl alcohol in this mixture is 75%, so keep it away from flames.
Should I wear a face mask when I go out in public?
What the Governor meanS by “stay home and stay safe”?
Stay home, stay safe. Vermonters are directed to stay at home and leave only for essential reasons such as: personal safety; groceries or medicine; curbside pick-up of goods, meals or beverages; medical care; exercise; care of others; and work, as set forth further below.
Folks can continue to go outside, take walks, go to the grocery store and pharmacies while practicing “social distancing” and proper hygiene. If you are sick, please stay home to protect others.
Enforcement will be handled primarily thought education and voluntary compliance.
What is social distancing?
Coronavirus spreads easily from person to person. It travels through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes. One way to contain the spread of COVID-19 is to stop people from sharing it. We can help contain the virus in these ways:
- Stay home as much as possible, leaving only for essentials.
- If you must go out, practice social distancing, keeping at least 6 feet apart from other people.
- Limit contact with family members and friends who are sick. This includes anyone who has symptoms of a cold, flu or contagious stomach illnesses.
- Wash your hands every time you go inside, before you eat, and before you spend time with people who are more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.
Staying connected while being physically distant
During this time of uncertainty, many Vermonters are feeling understandably angry, worried, and scared. Staying away from friends and family can make the feeling of isolation worse. We encourage all Vermonters to keep connections with family, friends, and your community in new ways. Use technology to communicate, enjoy the outdoors, take time to learn a new skill, follow up on long-overdue projects, or volunteer to support those who may be in need. It is important to get outside for fresh air and exercise. Spend time outdoors as a family or consider individual outdoor activities like biking or hiking, as it’s easier to keep a good distance from each other.
This is a big transition in how we all live our daily lives – we’re all working together to adjust, change the way we express kindness and affection to others. Knowing this – all being in this together – goes into all of the difficult decisions the State is making.
Close contact means being within six feet, for a long time, of someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their infectious period, which starts one day before any symptoms began and continues until they are recovered. Read what to do if you’re a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Close contact does not mean: being more than six feet away in the same indoor environment for a long period of time, walking by, or briefly being in the same room.
|Examples of close contacts||Examples of not close contacts|
|You live in the same home||You were their cashier at the grocery store|
|You are intimate partners||You are a pharmacist who gave the person medication|
|You rode in the same car while the person was infectious||You were in front of the person in line at the store|
|You had dinner together while the person was infectious||You’re a coworker who briefly walked by to ask a question|
Someone has recovered from COVID-19 when all three have happened:
- It’s been three full days of no fever without the use of fever-reducing medication, and
- Other symptoms have improved, and
- At least seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
- Stay home. Most people with mild illness can manage their symptoms at home with rest, drinking fluids and taking fever-reducing medicine, when needed. Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19.
- Call your doctor and ask to be seen for an evaluation. Do not go to the doctor’s office unless instructed to do so. Anyone who does not have a health care provider can call 2-1-1 to be connected to a clinic in their area.
- Do not go to or visit any hospitals or long-term care facilities unless absolutely necessary. This is to protect everyone’s health, including patients and staff.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people and animals in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. Avoid sharing personal household items.
- Wear a facemask if you are sick around other people and pets.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
- Get support from others. Stay in touch with family and friends by phone, email or online platform.
Living with uncertainty during the outbreak of COVID-19 is stressful for everyone. Health, financial and other concerns can increase anxiety. Things that were normal a few weeks ago are no longer the norm. Physical distancing (also called social distancing) makes it impossible to see friends or visit family in person. At this time, we need to adopt “distant socializing”, which involves the creative use of technology, phone lines and the mail to connect. But it’s not the same. The Vermont Department of Mental Health has compiled some tips to help us get through this unsettling time.
Get the Facts
What we know about COVID-19 is rapidly changing. Misinformation spreads fast. We need trustworthy information from reliable sources like:
It helps to limit our exposure to media sources or social media that lead to fear or panic.
Be kind to yourself
The COVID-19 outbreak can add to existing daily challenges. It is normal for an outbreak to be stressful. Let’s be kind to ourselves when feelings of anxiety or isolation increase. We can treat ourselves as kindly as we treat loved ones. Interrupt negative thoughts by thinking about an accomplishment or something nice we did for someone else.
Identify the source of your anxiety
This may seem ridiculous. Obviously, it’s COVID-19. But what specifically is worrying? Is it the uncertainty, the health risk to ourselves or our loved ones, or our financial burdens? Identifying specific concerns can help us get distance and feel less overwhelmed.
Let your anxiety be a unifying force
So, we’ve recognized things are uncertain, acknowledged our specific worries, now what? Mental health experts recommend connecting with others, asking for what we need and offering help. Use technology to make connections. A simple phone call or an online meet-up (like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom) with family or friends can be supportive and ease loneliness. Or join Front Porch Forum to help people in your community or post your own request.
Self-Care is Key
Taking time for ourselves is even harder when faced with an emergency. It may feel like just one more thing to do. But taking a walk, practicing stress reduction techniques, like yoga or mindfulness, or reading a fun book or article can shift our mood. It can also strengthen our immune system.
Maintain Healthy Routines
COVID-19 and concerns about getting sick change our daily routines. Having our day-to-day practices disrupted or even ended for a while can be a source of anxiety. Starting today, we can create new routines that support our well-being. Begin the day with a walk outside or a workout, build in healthy breaks throughout the day, and then choose fun evening activities like watching a movie, writing in a journal, playing a musical instrument or a game, and of course, talking with friends and family on the phone or an online platform. Adding fun activities and exercise to our new routines can help alleviate isolation and disruption.
Domestic Violence Resources
What if you are isolated (or quarantined) with your abuser? Reach out for the help you need. Law enforcement are continuing to respond to calls. Hotlines and shelters will remain open. Contact the Vermont Network for more information about your local organization.
- Vermont Network
- Vermont Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-228-7395
- Vermont Sexual Violence Hotline: 800-489-7273
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
- If you’re unable to speak safely: Log onto thehotline.org, or text LOVEIS to 22522
- If you are in an emergency situation: Call 911
Need support now?
- Text VT to 741741
- Call 2-1-1 or 1-866-652-4636
- Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-8255
- Find local resources (Vermont Department of Mental Health)
- VT Helplink: Free and confidential alcohol and drug support and referral services.
- Staying Mentally Healthy During Self-Isolation or Quarantine (Vermont Department of Mental Health)
- Preparing for the Coronavirus by Taking Care of Your Whole Self (Vermont Department of Mental Health)
- Coronavirus and Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks from The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (Vermont Department of Mental Health)
- Managing Anxiety and Stress (CDC)
If you are ill, call your health care provider to find out if you should be seen for an evaluation and consideration of testing. Not everyone needs to be tested. Testing is not treatment.
Your health care provider will arrange for testing if they determine that a test is needed.
The state will ensure that anyone who meets the medical requirements for testing for COVID-19 can do so at no cost.
What is the turnaround time for testing?
Results from the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory will be available in 1-3 days. Test results will be reported by the Health Department Laboratory to the hospital or clinical lab where the test was collected. Individuals should wait for their health care provider to notify them of their test results.
What does monitoring mean?
Monitoring means someone who has returned from an affected area or cruise ship, or who has been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, checks their temperature every day, watches for symptoms, and stays home. Identifying information for people being monitored is not available to the public.
Information for people under monitoring
This follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is subject to change.
Travelers returning international locations or from a cruise:
Returning travelers should stay home and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the United States.
If you develop symptoms:
- Call your health care provider right away.
- Before you go to an appointment, let your health care provider know that you are being monitored for novel coronavirus and your travel history.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others.
- If you have returned from China or Iran you should also call Health Department epidemiology and infectious disease staff at 802-863-7240.
People in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19
People who were in close contact with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 should monitor their health for 14 days, stay home, and follow the guidance on this fact sheet: What to do if you’re a close contact of someone with COVID-19. If you develop symptoms, call your health care provider right away.
Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness, including older adults (65 years and older) and people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, or who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment. According to the CDC, starting at age 65, there is an increasing risk of disease and the risk increases with age. The highest risk of serious illness is in people older than 80 years.
Older adults and people with chronic conditions should take extra precautions including:
- Have needed supplies on hand
- Contact your medical provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications in case you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
- Have over-the-counter medicines and supplies for fever and other symptoms.
- Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
- Stay home
- Stay away from others who are sick
Read the CDC’s full guidance on People At Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19.
Retirement Communities (CDC)
Videos: Information on COVID-19* (community resource created by the Spectrum Multicultural Youth Program, Howard Center, and other Burlington community members)
in Arabic | Bosnian | Dinka | French | Kirundi | Lingala | Nepali | Nepali (detailed information) | Somali | Spanish | Swahili | Vietnamese | Vietnamese (detailed information)
*English translations are posted below the YouTube video.
Translations in Simplified Chinese:
- Symptoms (CDC) 症状
- Prevention & Treatment (CDC) 预防与治疗
- Preventing 2019-nCoV from Spreading to Homes and Communities (CDC) 预防 2019 年新型冠状病毒 (2019-nCoV) 传播给家庭和社区中其他人的暂行指南
- Travel Health Alert Notice (CDC) 健康预警：来自中国的旅客请注意
New Americans in Vermont: “Resources for everyone in our community”
Guidance for Specific Groups
Governor Scott declared a state of emergency on March 13, 2020. Subsequently, he issued several addendums, some affecting Vermont businesses. On March 25, he ordered all businesses and not-for-profit entities, except for those providing critical services, to suspend all in-person business operations. Operations that can be conducted online or by phone, or sales that can be facilitated with curbside pickup or delivery only, can continue.
- Find press releases about the executive order and addendums
- Read the Stay Home Stay Safe FAQs for Businesses
- Read the Stay Home Stay Safe Sector Guidance
- Read current COVID-19 guidance and requirements for Vermont businesses (Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development)
Find COVID-19 information for Vermont employers (Vermont Department of Labor)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided guidance for businesses and employers to plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19.
Right now, businesses in Vermont can:
- Make sure sick employees stay home
- Emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
Employers should respond in a flexible way and refine their business response plans as needed.
Food and Lodging Businesses
Can the Health Department provide documentation that I can go to work?
The Health Department cannot provide documentation for people to go to work or to stay home.
Who can I contact if I have workplace safety concerns?
Employees with COVID-19 related concerns in the workplace can contact the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA). Employees can submit a safety complaint form on VOSHA’s website or call toll free at 1-800-287-2765.
Protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like coronavirus disease 2019. Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy. See the latest CDC guidance on Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities.
Neighborly best practices for helping during COVID-19
While Vermonters are staying home to slow the spread of COVID-19, some are stepping up to ensure their neighbors have what they need. This type of community support is crucial, but we need to make sure our helpers and volunteers still using social distancing practices to protect our most vulnerable Vermonters.
Any volunteers bringing items to people needing help to stay home should:
- Keep a distance of six feet away.
- Avoid entering the recipient’s home.
- Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- If you feel sick or learn that you have had contact with someone who is sick, stop doing community support work immediately.
- Keep a list of anyone you come into close contact with in case contact tracing is required.
- Wear clean gloves when handling items that may be given to people with a weaker immune system, and when you are close to someone who may be sick.
Common sense practices can go a long way while Vermonters take care of each other.
Want to help? Consider signing up for the Medical Reserve Corps. Volunteers can be deployed locally in the event of an emergency, support first aid stations at community events, educate the public on preparedness, and assist in promoting various health and wellness activities. You can also reach out to local community groups/organizers like rotary and lion clubs, soup kitchens and check out your neighborhood Front Porch Forum group.
Fact Sheets: Coronavirus and Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks from The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (Vermont Department of Mental Health)
Managing Anxiety and Stress (CDC)
Slide Presentation on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Steps to protect children from getting sick
You can encourage your child to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy.
- Do activities at home
- Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing)
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
- Launder items including washable plush toys as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
Information for pregnant and breastfeeding parents
See information and guidance about COVID-19 for pregnant individuals and breastfeeding parents (CDC). Contact your health care provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Emergency Medical Services
Emergency medical services (EMS) play a vital role in responding to requests for assistance, triaging patients, and providing emergency medical treatment and transport for ill persons. Unlike patient care in the controlled environment of a healthcare facility, care and transports by EMS present unique challenges because of the nature of the setting, enclosed space during transport, frequent need for rapid medical decision-making, interventions with limited information, and a varying range of patient acuity and jurisdictional healthcare resources.
Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States
EMS Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 Assessment And Transport
COVID-19 Field Triage
EMS Response to COVID-19
Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) EMS Response – see video on EMS page
Service providers should work with their funder to determine how services should best be carried out in accordance with funding requirements and state/federal regulations.
- Guidance for people who provide home-based services, including Children’s Integrated Services, home health visits, home visiting and lactation consultants.
On March 13, Gov. Phil Scott announced restrictions for visitors to long-term care facilities to help protect our most vulnerable Vermonters. Find more information on the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living’s novel coronavirus information webpage.
The general strategies CDC recommends to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities are the same strategies these facilities use every day to detect and prevent the spread of other respiratory viruses like influenza.
- Vermont Health Advisory: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Recommendations to Facilitate the Transfer of Deceased Patients from Nursing Homes, Long Term Care Facilities and Hospice Facilities (March 23, 2020)
- Vermont Health Advisory: Guidance to Reduce Facility-Based Transmission of COVID-19 in Congregate Care Settings (March 20, 2020)
- Vermont Health Advisory: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Long-Term Care Facilities (March 5, 2020)
- Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) information for Long-Term Care Facilities
- CDC: Strategies to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities
You may want to ask visitors to your facility to help protect others by answering a few questions: Download the COVID-19 Visitor Screening Tool
According to the Gubernatorial Directive (dated 3/26/20), all Vermont schools are dismissed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Districts will close schools for in-person instruction and be required to implement continuity of learning plans for remote learning. Child care programs also will remain closed, with the exception of those that provide services to Essential Persons, as defined in the March 17, Gubernatorial Directive.
- Health Guidance for Emergency Programs Providing Childcare for Essential Persons
- COVID-19 Guidance for Emergency Child Care Service (Webinar with Dr. Breena Holmes, MCH Director – 3/24/20)
- Health & Safety in Child Care (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Supporting the Childcare Needs of Essential Persons During a Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Guidance to Schools and Child Care Programs (Agency of Education)
- Children’s Development Division COVID-19 (Information for Child Care Programs, Children’s Integrated Services Providers and CDD Grantees and Contractors)
- Coronavirus Resources (Let’s Grow Kids)
- COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Schools (Agency of Education)
- Interim Guidance for Administrators of U.S. Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare and Respond (CDC)
- Resources for Institutes of Higher Education (CDC)
Below are CDC situation updates and resources including guidance for families, health care professionals, laboratories and anyone who wants to learn more about COVID-19.