COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Businesses
UPDATED – 8/12/20
If you have questions about whether your business meet the definition of “critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security” as per Governor Scott’s Executive Order, please review our Stay Home, Stay Safe FAQs and Sector Specific Guidance.
For public health information, visit: healthvermont.gov/covid19
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.
To stay informed when new information becomes available, please sign-up for our COVID-19 Economic and Community Response Newsletter.
Mandatory Mask Wearing Effective August 1st
Today, Governor Scott announced that effective August 1st, Vermonters will be required to wear masks in public spaces, both indoor and outdoor, where physical distancing is not possible. There are some exceptions, including for children under 2 years old and for those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. The Vermont Department of Health offers guidance on when it’s important to wear a mask.
COVID-19 Testing Guidance for Employers
The Department of Health has updated information regarding COVID-19 testing in the workplace. The Department of Health does not recommend requiring asymptomatic employees to test for COVID-19 or provide proof of a negative test prior to returning to work, unless that person is looking to end their quarantine period early. Visit the Department of Health’s website to learn more about when testing is and is not recommended for your employees.
Restart Plan Templates Available
A reminder that restart plan templates are now available for construction; golf courses; gyms and fitness centers; manufacturing, distribution and warehousing; real estate sales and leasing; restaurants; and retail establishments. These plans can help businesses establish best practices as they reopen and train employees on safety precautions and protocols.
Water Quality Checks at Reopening Businesses
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding businesses that are reopening to check, and if needed, flush their water systems to ensure the best water quality for employees or patrons. DEC has issued guidance to help businesses ensure their systems are functioning properly upon restart of operations.
New COVID-19 FAQs for Municipal Operations
The Vermont League of Cities and Towns offers updated FAQs for municipalities on recent guidance and its legal and practical effects on general municipal operations, as well as information related to municipal services such as dog licensing, access to public records, town office closures and re-openings, and processing zoning applications.
Non-Essential Retail Guidance Announced
ACCD has released updated guidance for non-essential retail and drive-in operations. This guidance, developed with the Department of Health and Department of Public Safety, goes into effect May 18, 2020 and includes reopening retail operations in a limited capacity with mandatory health and safety requirements. The Agency has provided new signage for retailers to post.
Mandatory Safety Training Now Available
Addendum 11 to the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order included a directive that by May 4th, all employees returning to work according to Phased Work Safe Guidelines, including those already working, must complete a mandatory training on health and safety requirements as provided by VOSHA, or another training program that meets or exceeds the VOSHA-provided standard. The Department of Labor has posted training materials in both online and printable formats.
ACCD encourages businesses to seek professional business counseling and technical assistance before taking on additional debt and to help navigate the various programs and resources available. Vermont has a robust business technical assistance provider network, including the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC). Click here to learn more and to request assistance from VtSBDC’s team of advisors.
In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, the VtSBDC created a Disaster Recovery Guide for Businesses, available on their website. This document may also help you begin your recovery. More resources and technical assistance providers can be found in the Business and Economic Resources section.
We are still interested in hearing from all Vermont businesses impacted by the response to the COVID-19 virus. Please continue to share these impacts via the Agency Business Impact Form, which will help us assess the full impact as we work toward solutions.
If you have other inquiries, please contact us through our dedicated email address: [email protected].
The Agency has also established a hotline so that businesses may call to report impacts and be directed to resources: (802) 461-5143. The hotline will be staffed Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Interactive Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map Now Available
The Vermont Department of Public Service has released an interactive Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map to help Vermonters connect to publicly available internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The map includes the location of the Wi-Fi hot spots and pertinent information about how to access them, including places where users can access Wi-Fi from outside the building or in a parked vehicle to encourage social distancing. Vermonters are encouraged to send information about Wi-Fi hot spots to [email protected] and review additional connectivity resources from the Department of Public Service online.
Translated Guidance for Vermonters
New fact sheet, translated into nine languages, has been added to Department of Health website under “Translated Materials.” The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in Vermont has also posted a new series of COVID-19 videos in several languages.