Dear Community (click here to download/print) :
The following is a recap of COVID-19 events since it first affected our community on March 13th. Please review this information and do your best to adhere to these guidelines for your safety and the safety of your fellow community members.
On March 13, 2020, Governor Phil Scott issued Executive Order (EO) 01-20, putting Vermont in a State of Emergency. The first case in our community occurred in Ludlow. This preceded the closure of Mount Holly Elementary School and Black River High School on March 14th. We were all just beginning to grapple with an uncertain future, while being inundated with information. There was a run on groceries and “essential” items at stores like we have never seen. We witnessed our world and community change over night and day to day.
Next, Addendums 2-5 and directives 1-4 were issued. These included: closing of restaurants and bars (No. 2, 3/16/20); canceling non-essential elective surgeries (No. 3, No. 3/20/20); closing of close-contact business and reductions in size of mass gatherings (No. 4, 3/21/20); and mandating work from home for jobs that allow such activity (No. 5, 3/23/20).
On March 25th Governor Scott issued an EO 01-20, Addendum 6, “Stay home, Stay safe”, as the number of COVID-19 cases throughout the state rose. This was an unprecedented order for an unprecedented virus. We began to hear about “the curve” and what we needed to do in order to flatten it to keep our hospitals from overflowing. The challenges are great and varied. Many of us have endured 4 weeks of staying home with what feels like no end in sight. There’s been loss of employment for some, the challenge of working from home and balancing school at home for others. The isolation for some is very real. Some have had to continue working and leaving their homes every day to keep our communities functioning. Thank you to all those medical workers and other essential workers on the front lines, taking risks for the better good of our community. And thank you to all that have stayed home to help flatten the curve.
Directive 5 (issued March 26th) called for the closure of Vermont schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Right here in Mount Holly, our own teachers have been hard at work from their homes, making sure the children of our community have access to meaningful, high quality instruction and maintain a connection to their classmates for the remainder of the school year via remote learning.
Addendum 7 (issued March 30th, now effective thru May 15th), includes quarantine restrictions on travelers arriving in Vermont, calling for immediate self-quarantine for 14 days for those who travel into Vermont for non-essential purposes (resident or nonresident). It calls for visitors from “hot spots,” including Florida and New York City, NOT to travel to Vermont at all and reminded those from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to stay in their home states per CDC guidance. It also suspended all lodging operations for non-essential purposes (including VRBO, Homeaway, and AirBnb), and suspended online lodging reservations, making the Attorney General responsible for enforcement of compliance of lodging providers.
Addendum 9 (April 10th, effective thru May 15th) included; extension of EO 01-20 and all addenda through May 15th (including the “Stay home, Stay safe” order); reiterated the suspension of in person real estate transactions; provided an extension of vehicle inspections for 60 days for April due inspections; allowed for lodging reservations to resume for stays and events occurring after June 15th. Addendum 10 (April 17th) called for the beginning of the phased restart of the Vermont economy, with activities including construction (with “micro-crews”), outdoor commercial retail operations, and single worker services to resume. Working from home and telecommuting is still to be used to the fullest extent possible. We are still encouraged to use online and telephone ordering, pickup service, and delivery.
Please remember we are not yet on the other side of this pandemic and we need to still follow Governors Scott’s Executive Order, directives, and addenda. More addenda are likely to come every week. Please go to: www.mounthollyvt.org and www.facebook.com/mounthollyvt to stay up to date. Also, check the Mt Holly Newsflash Emails (sign up by emailing [email protected]).
Please remember to:
- Stay Home unless you are an essential worker, or the latest Addendum 10 applies to you.
- Wear facial coverings in public while doing essential activities such as grocery shopping.
- Maintain 6’ foot social distance when you do need to go in public
- Wash or use hand sanitizer frequently on hands while out.
Ask yourself before you leave to go outside of your home: Do I need to do this activity? Is it essential I do this? Can it wait? And can I do without it? One of the best resources for Vermonter’s looking help and support is the free 211 service, dial 211 or go to www.vermont211.org for assistance.
While this emergency is vastly different from those we have faced in the past, I am confident that if we continue to pull together and follow the guidelines, we will succeed.
Stay Vermont Strong,
Mount Holly Emergency Management Director