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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Answers To Some Frequently Asked Questions About The Coronavirus

A lab kit with test tubes.
Centers For Disease Control via Associated Press
/
A lab test kit for the new coronavirus. Have questions about COVID-19? We have some answers.

As of 2 p.m. 6/15/2021, this post is no longer being updated.

Find below answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of how state officials are responding to the pandemic.

Sign up to receive email updates from VPR and NPR about the coronavirus and other news of the day here.

What is the new coronavirus?

It is a previously unidentified virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to the Centers for Disease Control. Coronavirus is the name for a family of viruses, some of which can infect people and animals. They're named for the crownlike spikes on their surfaces.

The viruses can cause the common cold or more severe diseases like SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and COVID-19. The latter first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China.

A graphic of a grey ball with red spikes all over it.
Credit Centers for Disease Control
/
The coronavirus is named for its spiky formation.

How is COVID-19 spread?

According to an NPR story from January 2020, most of the first-known cases were traced to an animal market in Wuhan, China, and are believed to have come from contact with live animals that were infected.

On March 30, 2021, the World Health Organization released a report that, according to NPR, indicates the virus may have been transmitted through wildlife animals supplied to a food market in Wuhan, and could have originated from bats. 

The Vermont Department of Health's website indicates person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. There is also growing scientific evidence that the virus can be spread through smaller particles that linger in the air indoors where people exhale while talking or coughing.

The Health Department says there is no evidence showing COVID-19 is spread through food, mail or paper products, though it may be possible for a person to get the virus by touching a surface with the virus on it, and then touching mouth, nose or possibly, eyes.

NPR has reported the virus can live on some surfaces for up to two or three days.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC lists symptoms as:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste and smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC has created a "self-checker" test to help people make decisions about when they should seek out medical care.

The CDC notes reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. According to the Vermont Department of Health, a majority of people who have contracted COVID-19 have experienced mild or moderate illness not requiring hospitalization, and not everyone infected will show symptoms.

State health officials encourage anyone experiencing symptoms to contact their health provider, or if you don't have a provider, to call 2-1-1. The Health Department also has some guidance for what to do if you're feeling sick.

Vermont health officials caution against using anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydrochloroquine for treatment or prevention of COVID-19, noting they haven't been approved by the FDA or thoroughly tested in randomized clinical trials. Furthermore, officials said the use of these drugs comes with potentially significant risk, including death.

What is the incubation period?

Vermont state epidemiologist Patsy Kelso said a person can start showing symptoms anywhere between two and 14 days after being exposed to the new coronavirus. Most of the time, she added, this happens after five days.

What are the right prevention measures?

The Vermont Health Department gives these steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, and if soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Stay at least six feet away from other people
  • Wear a cloth mask indoors and in crowds
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a sleeve or a tissue, not your hands, and then throw that tissue in the trash
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Gov. Phil Scott issued an order on March 30, 2020 stating anyone entering Vermont for anything other than an essential purpose must quarantine at home for 14 days.

Beginning July 1, 2020, the governor allowed leisure travel in a personal vehicle without quarantine between Vermont and certain counties in 14 other states that had fewer than 400 active COVID-19 cases per million people.

On Nov. 10, 2020, Scott limited travel once again and said all travel in or out of Vermont required quarantine. 

As of Feb. 23, 2021, fully-vaccinated travelers don't have to quarantine.

Starting April 9, no travel except international travel requires quarantine. Unvaccinated Vermonters returning to the state need to get a negative COVID test within three days, and unvaccinated visitors to Vermont must get a negative test within three days before arriving.

On June 14, Gov. Phil Scott lifted all remaining pandemic restrictions, including travel rules.

What's happening with the COVID-19 vaccine?

Click here for a vaccine FAQ.

What are Vermont officials doing?

June 14

Gov. Phil Scott announced he was lifting remaining pandemic restrictions, and letting the state of emergency expire at midnight on June 15.

May 29

Vermont's 10 p.m. curfew for bars, restaurants and clubs is lifted.

May 21

Gov. Phil Scott said once 80% of Vermont's eligible population receives at least one COVID shot, he would lift all remaining pandemic restrictions.

May 18

State officials announced non-Vermont residents will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at walk-in clinics starting May 20.

May 14

The governor announced fully-vaccinated Vermonters no longer need to wear masks or socially distance.

May 13

Vermont opened COVID-19 vaccinations to those between the ages of 12 and 15.

May 1

State officials lifted capacity restrictions on manufacturing operations, retail outlets, restaurants and bars. Vermont also eased requirements around masks outdoors, requiring them only when a 6-foot distance can’t be maintained, regardless of whether people are vaccinated or not.

April 29

College students from other states and people who live part of the year in Vermont (and don't work here) became eligible for a vaccine appointment.

April 28

The state of Vermont shut down its online first-time unemployment claim system. The move comes after the Department of Labor says it found that 90% of recent claims were fraudulent.

The department says Vermonters who need to make an unemployment claim can do so by phone. The number is 877-214-3330.

April 23

Federal and Vermont authorities lifted the recommended pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

State officials said high-contact school sports could resume, too.

Secretary of Education Dan French also said graduations and proms will be allowed, and in fact encouraged, at the end of the school year. They'll have to follow the state's guidelines on indoor and outdoor gatherings and crowd size depending on vaccination rates.

April 19

All Vermonters 16 and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

April 17

Vermonters 16- to 18-years old can sign up for a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

April 15

Vermont is pausing all Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointments until at least April 23.

April 13

Vermont canceled all Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointments through the end of the week. Gov. Phil Scott ordered the halt "out of an abundance of caution" after the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control said they were investigating a rare blood-clotting syndrome that affected six women who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

April 12

Vermonters 30 and older can register for a shot.

April 9

Outdoor businesses shift to universal guidance. Farmers markets, outdoor recreation, campgrounds and retail operations simply have to follow masking and physical distancing requirements.

And unvaccinated Vermonters returning from out-of-state travel don't have to quarantine anymore (except for international travel), and instead have to get a COVID test within three days of returning. Unvaccinated visitors to Vermont must have a negative COVID test within three days before arriving.

April 6

Gov. Phil Scott announced a COVID-19 reopening plan that would lift all pandemic-related safety mandates by July 4.

April 5

Vermonters 40 and older can sign up for a vaccine appointment.

School-based, coach-led sports practices, as well as inter-squad scrimmages, can also begin.

April 1

BIPOC Vermonters and their entire households can sign up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

March 31

Parents and those caring for young children with high-risk conditions can sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Phil Scott reversed a previous position and announced non-resident college students and second homeowners can sign up for a vaccine beginning April 30.

March 30

The state announced all BIPOC Vermonters 16 and older, plus their entire household, regardless of its members' race or ethnicity, could sign up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning April 1.

March 29

Vermonters 50 and older can begin signing up for a vaccine.

March 25

Vermonters 60 and older can make a vaccine appointment.

March 24

Vermont bars and clubs can now reopen. The governor says they’ll be required to follow the same rules as restaurants. Those include operating at 50% capacity, 6 feet between groups and a maximum of six people per table.

March 19

The Scott administration rolled out its vaccine plan for all age bands. All eligible Vermonters over the age of 16 will be able to register for a vaccine by April 19.

Officials also announced two coronavirus vaccine clinics specifically for residents who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color. More information about signing up is available here.

March 16

Any veteran, regardless of age — who gets their medical care through the VA — can get a COVID-19 shot. Find more information here.

March 12

Department of Corrections officials said the outbreak at the Newport prison has grown to COVID infections among 165 incarcerated people and 13 staff. State officials said they wouldn't speed up vaccinations for inmates, instead administering shots when they met the statewide vaccine eligibility requirements.

Gov. Phil Scott also announced that up to six people from different households can now be seated at the same table in a restaurant.

March 9

The Scott administration announced the state will offer vaccine shots to anyone 16 and older in the BIPOC community who visits a clinic with a member of their household who is receiving a dose.

Officials also said the state was moving up the vaccine eligibility date for Vermonters 16 and older with certain health conditions to March 11.

March 8

Teachers, school staff, child care providers, corrections staff and people aged 55 and older with higher-risk health conditions can now sign up for a vaccine.

State officials announced that an outbreak at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport has grown to 134 cases among people held there and 12 cases among staff members.

March 5

Gov. Phil Scott said Vermonters who have been fully immunized can gather indoors with other fully immunized people.

March 2

The Scott administration announced that teachers and other school personnel, corrections staff, child care providers and Vermonters 55 and older who have high-risk health conditions can all sign up for COVID-19 shots beginning March 8.

Vermonters 16 and older with certain high-risk health conditions can sign up for the vaccine beginning March 15.

Human Services Secretary Mike Smith also said homebound Vermonters who haven't been contacted by a health agency for a vaccine can sign up for one beginning Friday, March 5.

March 1

Vermonters 65 and older can now sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Feb. 23

Scott announced that people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will be able to meet with one other group regardless of whether they've been vaccinated.

Starting on this day, fully vaccinated Vermonters (meaning they have had both shots and waited another two weeks) can now also travel out of state without quarantining.

Feb. 16

Vermonters 70 and older can sign up to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

Feb. 5

Scott on Friday cleared teams to resume competition starting Feb. 12. Scott allowed schools to re-start in-person team practices two weeks ago.

Athletes and coaches will have to abide by a slew of COVID-19 safety measures, including a mask mandate for all players, coaches and referees. Teams will also be limited to no more than two games per week, and spectators will not be permitted to watch competitions in person.

Jan. 25

Vermonters 75 and older can now sign up to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Health is asking state residents to visit healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine. If Vermonters can't get online or need to speak to someone in a language other than English, beginning at noon today they can call  855-722-7878.

The phone line will be open Monday-Friday 8:15 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Jan. 15

State officials announced that Vermonters 75 or older will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine beginning on Jan. 27. State officials say it’ll take about six weeks to vaccinate that population. Once that is done, people 70 and older will be able to get the shot, and then 65 and up.

Beginning on January 25, eligible residents can make vaccine appointments online or by calling a special number. According to Secretary of Human Services Mike Smith, clinics will be held around the state, and EMTs will help get the vaccine to homebound Vermonters.

Gov. Phil Scott also said high school sports can move into the next phase of in-person practice. Teams can now practice drills with limited contact, and scrimmages.

Dec. 24

Scott said his administration decided to discontinue a controversial policy asking school students during a daily health check whether members of their household had recently gathered with anyone else.

Critics of the plan said it put some students in a position of having to lie to protect their parents. Scott said the policy is no longer needed because most Vermonters now understand the risks involved in multi-family and group gatherings.

Dec. 22

The governor announced Vermonters could gather with one other trusted household between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2. He said those families and friends who do get together over the holidays should follow all safety precautions such as wearing masks and staying distant. He added that if you meet with someone from out of state, or travel out of state, you still must follow the state's quarantine rules.

Scott also said beginning Dec. 26, school-based and youth recreational sports teams can begin practices with individual skills strength and conditioning drills.

Dec. 15

Vermont officials announced the first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived, and the University of Vermont Medical Center administered the state's first dose of the vaccine over a video livestream.

Have questions about the coronavirus vaccine and its rollout? Check out our vaccine FAQs here.

Dec. 11

The state of Vermont signed a $1.4 million contract with TLC Services in Williston to provide back-up help for health care workers in long-term care facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.

State officials also said Vermonters can sign up for text alerts about COVID-19 through the Vermont Alert system.

Dec. 4

Scott noted the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on Vermonters' mental health and urged people in crisis to reach out to the state for counseling.

Crisis resources:

  • COVID Support VT: 866-652-4636
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Vermont Suicide Prevention Center: Text VT to 741741
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746

Dec. 1

The governor's administration said it was investigating why 246 Vermont COVID test samples sent to a lab in Massachusetts sat in a warehouse outside Boston for about 50 hours. The delay meant the samples were spoiled and could not be processed.

Officials also apologized for a subsequent mass email that revealed the electronic addresses of those who got tested.

Nov. 24

Scott's administration put high school winter sports on hold indefinitely due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Vermont. The governor also said when Vermont students return to school on Monday, Nov. 30, school staff can ask if they've been to Thanksgiving gatherings, and if they have, have the children learn remotely for a quarantine period.

Nov. 20

A week after first announcing a new executive order banning social gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott clarified that the restrictions do allow people feeling unsafe in their household to leave and take shelter elsewhere, and that people can take a physically-distanced walk with one other person from a different household.

Nov. 17

The governor's administration announced hospital visits are once again restricted.

Nov. 13

Scott issued an executive order banning any social gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, between people from different households starting Saturday, Nov. 11 at 10 p.m. The order also closes all bars and clubs in Vermont for in-person service. Restaurants will have to abide by a 10 p.m. curfew for in-person dining.

Nov. 10

Scott enacted new measures to limit interstate travel and expand coronavirus testing. Any travelers coming to Vermont, whether visitors from out of state or residents returning, must quarantine.

Nov. 3

Officials with the governor's administration announced new requirements for Vermont ski resorts, including limiting lift capacity and enforcing state quarantine rules.

Officials also issued guidance for high school winter sports: Indoor sports such as basketball and hockey will be permitted, but others, including wrestling and indoor track, will not be allowed because of the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. Spectators will also not be allowed.

Oct. 23

The Scott administration has unveiled a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan that puts certain health care workers, as well as staff and residents of long-term care facilities, at the front of the line to receive immunizations.

Oct. 20:

The state is offering another round of grants to businesses that have suffered due to the pandemic.

Some $76 million will be available to business and nonprofits that saw a decline in sales between March and September compared to the same period in 2019. Businesses can receive grants up to $300,000.

Sept. 23:

Education Secretary Dan French announced public schools in Vermont would change to "Step III" guidance on Sept. 26, which he said will allow for the use of common areas such as gyms and cafeterias, and also enable athletic competitions between schools.

Sept. 18:

Gov. Phil Scott announced restaurants and hotels can expand operations to allow more customers, citing the low prevalence of coronavirus in Vermont. Hotels can now rent all their rooms, and Scott said restaurants can now seat people at the bar.

Aug. 21:

Scott rolled out a new $133 million plan to boost the state economy and help businesses, including $50 million to send every Vermont household a $150 “buy local” incentive card.

Aug. 18:

The governor issued an executive order aimed at increasing Vermont's child care capacity as public schools plan to provide some or all education remotely. Pending legislative approval, some $7 million will go towards setting up "regional child care hubs."

Aug. 14:

Scott said he was concerned about a spike in COVID-19 cases when college students return, so he gave cities and towns strengthened authority to close bars and restrict public gatherings.

Aug. 11:

The Agency of Education unveiled revised public guidance for in-person learning during the pandemic. The physical distancing requirements for children 10 and younger is now 3 to 6 feet. Previous guidance called for minimum distancing of 6 feet for all public school students, regardless of age.

Aug. 7:

Child care centers are now eligible for $12 million in coronavirus relief grants. The governor said the new program will be accepting grant applications through Aug. 26.

Aug. 6:

The Department of Corrections is sending staff and Dr. Scott Strenio, the Medicaid medical director for Vermont Health Access, down to Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Mississippi to check in on care for the Vermont inmates incarcerated in the private prison. The announcement came after 147 of the 219 inmates there tested positive for COVID-19.

July 28:

Scott delayed public K-12 school reopenings to Sept. 8 to give educators and administrators time to implement procedures needed to keep students and teachers safe from COVID-19.

July 24:

The governor issued a statewide mandate requiring that people wear masks or facial coverings in all indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible. The order goes into effect Aug. 1, and exempts those with health or behavioral conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask as well as those under two.

July 14:

Scott extended Vermont's state of emergency until at least Aug. 15. Administration officials also announced a $25 million grant program for dairy farmers and processors as well as a $275 million grant program for health care providers.

July 10:

Scott announced that beginning on July 13, Vermont will begin disbursing $25 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to renters, landlords and homeowners who are behind on rent and mortgage payments.

July 7:

The Scott administration unveiled new rules colleges must follow to keep everyone on campus safe this fall.

July 1:

The governor announced an emergency grant program to give up to $50,000 to businesses hurt by the pandemic.

June 26:

Scott announced as of July 1, leisure travel could resume without quarantining between Vermont and counties in 14 other states where the active COVID-19 caseload was less than 400 per million people.

June 19:

The governor announced beginning on June 26, restaurants and arts and entertainment venues will see limits on allowable capacity go from 25% to 50%.

June 17:

The Scott administration announced new guidelines for visits at long-term facilities, which go into effect on Friday, June 19.

June 15:

The governor extended Vermont's state of emergency until July 15.

June 12:

State officials relaxed travel restrictions for people coming to Vermont from other states, specifically from counties with less than 400 active cases per million people.

People traveling here from those counties do not have to adhere to the state’s requirement that they self-quarantine for 14 days, or quarantine at home for seven days and then get a COVID test that must come up negative.

The new guidelines also allow a person to stay at a Vermont inn or motel for seven days, and then stop quarantining if they get tested and the results are negative.

June 5:

The governor said that beginning Monday, June 8:

  • Out-of-state travelers from New York and New England counties with low rates of COVID-19 cases do not need to self-quarantine to come into Vermont.
  • Indoor dining can open at 25% capacity.
  • Lodging can resume at 50% capacity.

May 29:

Scott said up to 25 people could now gather, and that nail salons, gyms and in-home services like cleaning could resume business June 1. He also announced the state would be starting a "pilot program" and welcome out-of-state kids for overnight camps, provided they follow quarantine regulations.

May 22:

Scott canceled all summer fairs and festivals, but announced limited reopening guidance for hair salons and barbers, drug and alcohol counselors, dentists and houses of worship.

May 20:

The governor announced a $400 million COVID relief package.

May 15:

Scott extended the state of emergency until June 15.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine also announced a pilot program Vermont is participating in with the Centers for Disease Control, which requires all new residents of long-term care facilities and prisons to be quarantined on arrival and repeatedly tested for COVID-19.

May 11:

Scott announced in-person retail operations can resume on Monday, May 18 with social distancing practices in place, including all employees wearing face masks, and everyone, customers and employees, staying six feet apart from one another.

May 8:

The governor announced child care centers can reopen June 1, with the caveat they abide by certain health and safety guidelines. Summer camps will also be allowed to operate under similar conditions.

May 6:

Scott said that gatherings of 10 or fewer people will now be allowed in Vermont, and he advised that small gatherings should mainly consist of outdoor activities, where physical distancing can occur more easily.

May 4:

The governor announced that some elective medical procedures will now be allowed to resume at Vermont hospitals.

May 1:

Scott said manufacturing and construction businesses will be allowed to “restart full operations” on May 11. He added those businesses' ability to reopen hinges on compliance with new safety protocols now being developed by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

The governor also announced people are required to wear cloth face coverings when riding public transit.

The Department of Children and Families said it will continue to shelter homeless Vermonters at motels beyond May 15 – which is when the governor’s stay-at-home order is set to expire.

April 29:

Scott announced the state would ramp up its COVID-19 testing to nearly triple what it is has been so far, as well as boost contact tracing capacity for 300 to 900 cases each week.

Vermont State Colleges Chancellor Jeb Spaulding submitted his resignation to the VSC board of trustees.

April 24:

The governor lifted some of the restrictions he’s imposed on business operations in Vermont. He said crews of up to five people will now be allowed to do outdoor work, or work in unoccupied structures, so long as workers wear face masks and maintain six feet of distance from each other.

Manufacturing and distribution operations are also permitted to reopen, Scott said, though they’ll be limited to a maximum of five workers per facility, and will also have to follow face mask and social distancing guidelines.

April 23:

The Vermont Department of Labor launched it's "pandemic unemployment assistance" portal.

April 22:

Vermont State Colleges Chancellor Jeb Spaulding withdraws his recommendation to close three campuses, and says he and the VSC board would work with legislative and community members to come up with a new proposal.

April 19:

Vermont State Colleges postpones a board of trustees vote on shutting down three state college campuses.

April 17:

The governor announced he’s lifting his business-closure order, effective April 20, for one- to two-person crews in “construction or similar trades,” so long as those workers maintain six feet of distance and wear cloth masks. Scott said he’s also lifting the closure order for “low- or no-contact professional services,” including appraisers, realtors and attorneys.

Scott also said farmers markets could reopen May 1 under guidelines drawn up by the Agency of Agriculture.

In addition, the governor authorized the state treasury to make $1,200 advance payments to the 34,000 or so Vermonters with pending unemployment claims if the Department of Labor hasn’t processed their claim by the end of Saturday.

Vermont State Colleges Chancellor Jeb Spaulding announced his recommendation to close Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College's Randolph campus as a way to address budget gaps brought on by declining enrollment and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 15:

Vermont officials said the state was likely in its peak week for COVID-19 cases.

April 10:

Scott extended Vermont's state of emergency until May 15. This end-date applies to all related executive orders, including the Stay Home, Stay Safe order.

After more than two dozen inmates tested positive for COVID-19 at Northwest State Correctional Facility in Franklin County, the Department of Corrections moved them to an isolation facility at the Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury.

Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said his agency has updated its testing guidance. If a resident or staff member of any correctional facility, nursing home, assisted living facility, residential treatment facility or state psychiatric facility tests positive for COVID-19, then anyone who lives in or works at the facility will be tested immediately.

The Department of Labor also rolled out a new, alphabetical claims-filing protocol to try and spread out the volume of newly unemployed Vermonters seeking benefits.

April 8:

Vermont's Agency of Human Services announced all inmates and staff members at Northwest State Correctional Facility in Swanton are being tested for the coronavirus after three staff members and one inmate have tested positive for COVID-19. Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said as of Thursday, April 9, all facilities will require inmates and staff members to wear face masks.

March 31:

The governor put out a call for volunteers and set up a new web portal to organize and connect them.

March 30:

Scott ordered people coming into Vermont to self-quarantine for 14 days and discouraged people living or staying in COVID-19 “hotspots” from coming at all, saying visitors have an obligation to “protect those already here.”

March 26:

The governor announced a directive closing Vermont schools for in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic school year.

March 24:

Scott Vermont ordered residents to stay at home and directed businesses and non-profits to cease “in-person” operations by 5 p.m. on March 25 until at least April 15. The order allows for people to leave home for personal safety; to buy groceries or medicine; medical care; exercise; curbside pickup of food, drinks or other items; to care for another; and to go to work at "businesses or entities providing services or functions deemed critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security."

For a full page of FAQs about the executive order, click here.

The Vermont National Guard, which was activated when Scott declared a state of emergency on March 13, began preparing medical "surge" sites across the state.

March 23:

The governor signed an order asking businesses and nonprofits to implement every work-from-home strategy possible.

March 21:

Scott ordered the gatherings limit reduced to 10 people or more.

March 18:

The governor signed an order allowing restaurants and bars to sell take-out alcohol.

March 17:

Scott ordered all child care centers serving "non-essential" workers to close, and the next day, his administration explained these centers, plus schools, would provide child care services for "essential" workers including health care and grocery store employees, first responders, and the Vermont National Guard.

March 16:

The governor amended the gatherings limit to 50 people or more and ordered the closure of Vermont bars and sit-down restaurants by March 17 at 2 p.m., with allowances for take-out and delivery.

March 15:

Scott called for the "orderly dismissal" of schools by March 18 and lasting through at least April 6.

March 13:

Scott declared a state of emergency and issued an executive order restricting visitor access to longterm care facilities and banning gatherings of 250 people or more.

March 11:

The state's agencies start coordinating through the Vermont Emergency Operations Center.

March 10:

Corrections facilities in Vermont said they were increasing on-hand food supplies and instituted a verbal screening process for staff and visitors.

Late February:

Scott assembled an inter-agency task force to oversee the state's public health response.

Ongoing:

The Vermont Department of Labor is providing unemployment compensation for Vermonters out of work or quarantined at home due to the coronavirus.

The Vermont Health Department is providing daily updates reporting the various numbers of people being tested and monitored for the coronavirus as well as those who have contracted it.  Here's a guide for how to interpret the state's data.

The Department of Corrections is also tracking COVID-19 among its inmates and staff.

Can/will the state enforce quarantine?

It does have the authority to do so. Gov. Phil Scott signed the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order on March 24, which went into effect at 5 p.m. on March 25. On March 30, the governor signed an order directing anyone entering the state of Vermont after traveling for anything other than an essential purpose to quarantine for 14 days. Those restrictions have since been eased to allow more Vermonters to go to work and more people to travel in and out of Vermont.

Where can I get more information?

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vprnet.

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