COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Businesses
UPDATED – 10/21/20
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.
Expanded Economic Recovery Grants Announced
Governor Scott announced that ACCD and the Department of Taxes will administer a new round of grants for businesses: Expanded Economic Recovery Grants. The Department of Taxes application is open now through the myVTax portal until midnight on October 30, 2020. ACCD will be opening their application in the next week and the window to submit applications will also be two weeks.
Technical Assistance Program Now Available
Governor Phil Scott and ACCD have announced new resources for businesses navigating the COVID-19 crisis. Free technical assistance is now available through the Small Business Recovery Technical Assistance Program with support in a variety of areas being provided by the state’s 12 Regional Development Corporations, Champlain College, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Northern Community Investment Corporation, and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. The program is now live, and businesses can begin accessing resources immediately.
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.
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.
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.
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.