UPDATE ON NEW WORK SAFE ADDITIONS TO THE BE SMART, STAY SAFE ORDER
MEMO from Agency of Commerce & Community Development:
In the days and weeks to come we will work to restart Vermont’s economy in the wake of COVID-19. Understanding the need to restart the economy as soon as possible and improve our overall social wellbeing, we cannot allow for a resurgence of COVID-19 that would undermine or lose the important public health outcomes achieved to date. Our work to transition Vermont out from under the Stay Home order swiftly and responsibly will take just as much effort and goodwill as we have all expended in recent weeks. Working closely with the Health Department, the State Emergency Operations Center, and dedicated professionals across State government, we have developed, and will continue to refine, critical steps to ensure the health and safety of Vermonters and the continuity of our healthcare system.
As we move forward, businesses and employees must understand that how they work is essential to resuming and maintaining business operations. Preventing outbreaks and limiting the spread of COVID-19 is the only way to avoid future business and social disruption. The success of this phased restart will depend in large part on the ability of employers and employees to adhere to the public health, safety, and social distancing measures essential to limiting the spread of illness.
To that end, the following is required of all businesses currently operating and those re-started:
MANDATORY HEALTH & SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL BUSINESS, NON-PROFIT & GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
All businesses must follow Vermont Department of Health and CDC guidelines:
- Employees shall not report to, or be allowed to remain at, work or job site if sick or symptomatic (with fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath).
- Employees must observe strict social distancing of 6 feet while on the job. Businesses and non-profit or government entities shall ensure customers observe strict social distancing of 6 feet while on location, to the extent possible.
- Limit the occupancy of designated common areas, such as break rooms and cafeterias, so that occupants maintain strict social distancing of no less than 6 feet per individual. The employer shall enforce the occupancy limit and require employees to wipe down their area after use or shall ensure cleaning of the common areas at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Employees must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others. In the case of retail cashiers, a translucent shield or “sneeze guard” is acceptable in lieu of a mask. Businesses and non-profit and government entities may require customers or clients to wear masks.
- Employees must have easy and frequent access to soap and water or hand sanitizer during duration of work, and handwashing or hand sanitization is required frequently including before entering, and leaving, job sites.
- All common spaces (when open) and equipment, including bathrooms, frequently touched surfaces and doors, tools and equipment, and vehicles must be cleaned regularly and, when possible, prior to transfer from one person to another, in accordance with CDC guidance.
- Prior to the commencement of each work shift, all employees shall complete a health survey either in-person at the worksite or prior to arriving at the worksite. This screening survey shall require an employee to verify that he or she has no symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) before they enter the workplace. It is strongly recommended that a temperature check be conducted by the employee at home or a non-contact temperature check be conducted by the employer or the employee at the worksite. Employers may create systems that work best for their unique operations – but must be able to demonstrate, if asked by employees or state health officials, how the system ensures employees have been pre-screened for symptoms before they enter the workplace.
- Signs must be posted at all entrances clearly indicating that no one may enter if they have symptoms of respiratory illness.
- When working inside, open doors and windows to promote air flow to the greatest extent possible and limit the number of people occupying a single indoor space.
- No more than 3 people shall occupy one vehicle when conducting work. Mass transit, taxis, ridesharing, and public safety are exempt from this rule.
- No symptomatic or COVID-19 positive workers are allowed on site and any worker(s) who have contact with a worker or any other person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 are required to quarantine for 14 days.
- All operations shall designate a health officer on-site at every shift responsible for ensuring compliance with the Executive Order and the Addenda thereto and applicable ACCD Guidance. This person shall have the authority to stop or modify activities to ensure work conforms with the mandatory health and safety requirements.
- All businesses and non-profit and government entities shall encourage and facilitate telework among those employees with the capacity to work remotely when practical without impeding productivity. Employers shall accommodate the needs of high risk individuals, those workers who may have child care needs which cannot be met due to the closure of schools or child care facilities for reasons relating to COVID-19 and those individuals with concerns about personal health circumstances.
- All employees, including those already working (except healthcare workers, first responders, and others already trained in infection control, personal protection/universal precautions), must complete, and employers must document, a training on mandatory health and safety requirements as provided by VOSHA, or another training program that meets or exceeds the VOSHA-provided standard by May 4, 2020, or before returning to operations. Employers who need translations of the training materials have one week from the time the materials are made available.
- For all mass transit CUSTOMERS/ RIDERS (in addition to the mandatory requirement for operators and staff) face coverings are mandatory on public transit conveyances and in stations and terminals, effective May 4, 2020.
Additional health and safety consideration for all business, non-profit and government operations:
- Use of shared workspaces, desks, offices, etc. is discouraged to the maximum extent practicable.
- Face-to-face staff meetings should be limited, and physical distancing must be observed.
- Consider staggered work shifts, break times, etc. and expanding hours to reduce number of individuals working together and reduce contact with members of the public.
- To the extent possible, provide access to hand washing and/or hand sanitizer for vendors, and customers.
- Limit staff travel between multiple sites.
- Ensure a safe process to receive supplies and deliveries.
- Consider accommodations for employees at higher risk from COVID-19 infection (as currently defined by the CDC) to work remotely or have a job tasks that minimize public interaction.
BUSINESS CUSTOMER & GENERAL PUBLIC MASK USE
Customers, and the public in general, are encouraged to wear face coverings any time they are interacting with others from outside their household. Businesses may require customers to wear facial coverings over nose and mouth.
CROSS STATE TRAVEL
- Vermonters may travel outside of Vermont to counties across New England and New York that have a similar active COVID-19 caseload to Vermont and return without quarantining if they do so in a personal vehicle.
- Vermonters must remember to follow any travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for the states they plan to visit.
- If they travel to a quarantine county or outside of New England and New York, Vermonters will be required to quarantine in Vermont upon return. Read more about quarantining at the Vermont Department of Health website.
- Residents of other states who live in counties across New England and New York that have a similar active COVID-19 caseload to Vermont may enter the state for leisure travel without quarantining.
- Residents of other states who live in a quarantine county in New England and New York or from any other state not identified on the map, must follow quarantine guidelines:
- Effective June 15, 2020: Travelers arriving to Vermont in a personal vehicle, may complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test in their home state and enter Vermont without further quarantine restrictions.
- Effective June 15, 2020: Travelers arriving to Vermont via public transportation (plane, train, bus) or from further than a direct car ride would allow may complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test in a Vermont lodging establishment or with friends and family (travelers must stay in their quarantine location for the duration of quarantine other than to travel to and from a test site).
- Read more about quarantining at the Vermont Department of Health website.
- All out of state travelers utilizing lodging, camping and short-term rental properties in Vermont must sign and complete a Certificate of Compliance to attest that they have met all quarantine requirements.
- All out of state travelers are strongly encouraged to register with Sara Alert upon arrival to Vermont to get two weeks of daily reminders to check for common symptoms of COVID-19.
Those participating in essential work or currently authorized work that requires an overnight stay may utilize the state’s lodging, camping and short-term rental properties if the individual self-certifies upon arrival that they are authorized to work in Vermont, have not been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, and have not experienced COVID-19-like symptoms in the past 24 hours including a fever above 100.4°F, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache or new loss of taste or smell.
Commuter (day trip) traffic to and from Vermont by those who travel daily between Vermont and adjacent states including quarantine-required counties in those adjacent states is authorized for essential travel (e.g. essential work, healthcare, groceries) and currently authorized daily work, family visitation, or recreation. Travel to and from Vermont from outside the daily commuting area AND by those who do not travel to and from adjacent states daily is currently restricted and subject to all other travel restrictions above.
For more information about how to quarantine, visit the Vermont Department of Health’s quarantine chart.
Operations deemed “essential” may continue to operate under pre-existing guidance with the addition of the mandatory health and safety requirements above.
To safely reopen certain operations impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and not defined as essential, Governor Scott has directed the Agency of Commerce and Community Development – in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety – to authorize, subject to mandatory health and safety requirements listed above and additional sector specific guidance below, the following:
For additional details, please review the Stay Home, Stay Safe Sector Specific Guidance.