Daily Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Staff Writer

Be Smart, Stay Safe
Governor Phil Scott has signed a new order — Be Smart, Stay Safe — to extend Vermont’s State of Emergency to June 15, and reflect re-openings and eased restrictions announced in recent weeks.
State data and modeling indicates spread of COVID-19 continues to slow and Vermont now has one of the lowest 3-day and 7-day growth rates in the country. Gov. Scott and Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, however, continue to caution that we must also consider neighboring states where the virus is much more prevalent and outbreaks are still occurring.

The new addendum to the order encourages continued vigilance in physical distancing, staying home when possible, mask use in public settings where physical distancing is not possible, washing hands, and more. The addendum also asks adults 65 and older, and those with underlying medical conditions, to continue to stay home to avoid serious illness.

The order also allows the limited resumption of campgrounds, marinas and lodging facilities, including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, short term rentals, parks for recreational vehicles and campgrounds, including those managed by the Vermont Department of Parks and Recreation. These facilities can open May 22 for Vermont residents only, or for those who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement, and will be subject to strict health and safety standards and guidance from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. See the new ACCD guidance.

Gov. Scott also previewed the next steps in opening of the economy. If the data continues in the right direction, outdoor dining, close-contact businesses like salons, and other indoor businesses could be open by June 1. He also said the state’s limit on gatherings, now set at 10, would be expanded to 25 people.

Testing Information

Vermonters Without COVID-19 Symptoms Can Get Tested at Pop-Up Sites
Anyone who lives or works in Vermont and does not have symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested for the virus at pop-up testing sites around the state. Find a location and register for an appointment time at humanresources.vermont.gov/popups.

PLEASE NOTE: Many sites are now full, but you can still register on the waitlist to receive information of any future clinics that may be scheduled in your area.

We encourage health care workers, first responders, child care providers, and people returning to Vermont – such as college students, people who winter out of state and second home owners – to consider being tested. The sites are led by Health Department teams, with support from EMS units and members of the Vermont National Guard.

The test will tell you if you have a current infection. It is not a serology/antibody
test, which means it will not tell you if you were infected in the past.

Vermonters With Even Mild Symptoms Should Call Their Doctor to Be Tested
People with even mild symptoms are encouraged to call their health care provider to get tested. This includes parents of children who have possible symptoms. Your health care provider will ensure you receive proper care and treatment.

If you don’t have a health care provider: Dial 2-1-1 to connect with a community or hospital-connected clinic.

Quarantine Guidance for People Returning to Vermont Who Want to Be Tested
If you are returning to Vermont ─ including those who spend winter outside of Vermont, second home owners and college students ─ you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

If, during your quarantine, you have not had symptoms of COVID-19: On or after Day 7 you can be tested at one of the pop-up testing sites. If your test is negative, you can end your quarantine period, as long as you continue to have no symptoms.

Case Information
Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont
As of 11:00 a.m. on May 15, 2020

Total cases*
933
Currently hospitalized
3
Hospitalized under investigation
14
Total people recovered
796
Deaths+
53
Total tests
23,205
People being monitored
25
People completed monitoring
855

*Includes testing conducted at the Health Department Laboratory, commercial labs and other public health labs.
+Death occurring in persons known to have COVID-19. Death certificate may be pending.

Hospitalization data is provided by the Vermont Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Coalition and is based on hospitals updating this information.

Find more information on new data dashboard at healthvermont.gov/covid19 by clicking on the map of Vermont.

Guidance for Vermonters

Who to Contact:
If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.
If you are having symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider.
Most information is online: Visit our regularly updated Frequently Asked Questions.
You can also type in a question to our Ask A Question tool.
If you still have health-related COVID-19 questions, call the Health Department at 802-863-7240.
For non-health related questions, dial 2-1-1 or 1-866-652-4636.

Food Distribution
Meals will be distributed to those in need throughout the month of May. Food will include FEMA meal boxes, along with produce, chicken, and dairy products. For the full list of locations and details visit: https://vem.vermont.gov/pods

Interact with Family and Friends Safely
Vermonters can now participate in outdoor recreation and limited social interactions under strict health and safety precautions. Review the Health Department’s guidelines on how to weigh the risks and connect with family and friends safely.

Make Wearing a Mask a Habit
As Vermont gradually opens, wearing face coverings is more important than ever. Recent evidence indicates masks do seem to reduce respiratory droplet transmission, but compliance must be high for this strategy to work. Taking our mask with us when we go out is as important as is taking our car keys and wallets.

Even with a mask, we still need to keep 6 feet between ourselves and other people. Learn more about why and how we need to wear masks.

Keep a List of Your Close Contacts
Health officials suggest that Vermonters keep a journal of contacts – a list of other people with whom you have been in close contact with each day. If you get sick, this will make it easier to get in touch with those people and so they can take precautions to prevent further spread of COVID-19, including being tested if recommended.

Stay Safe While Enjoying the Outdoors
Remember to take the usual precautions to stay safe and healthy. Ticks are out, so make sure you know how to Be Tick Smart: healthvermont.gov/BeTickSmart.

For more outdoors information, visit: https://fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/outdoor-recreation-and-covid-19

Take Care of Your Emotional and Mental Health
Feeling anxious, confused, overwhelmed or powerless is common during an infectious disease outbreak. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs emotional support, help is available 24/7:

Call your local mental health crisis line
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
Text VT to 741741 to talk with someone at the Crisis Text Line.
For more information visit healthvermont.gov/suicide.

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