From the Vermont State House | 4.17

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Today, Governor Scott announced Addendum 10 to his Executive Order. In Addendum 10, Governor Scott announces the process to beginning to open up some business sectors as of April 20, 2020 and also established new guidelines for businesses already open and those that are about to be. 

The Governor outlined a phased approach to safely reopen certain businesses not determined to be critical as defined in the Governor’s previous Stay Home, Stay Safe Order. He indicated additional phases of reopening may be weekly if the positive trends continue. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has developed initial guidance for this first phase, which will likely be updated as needed. Beginning April 20, 2020 the Order allows:

  • “micro-crews,” or no more than two (2) persons per location/job, to perform outdoor work and construction work in unoccupied structures. Supporting operations may resume with the minimum number of employees necessary to support curbside pick-up and delivery services.
  • commercial retail operations, including those that operate in an outdoor setting, that they may resume operations with the minimum number of employees necessary to support curbside pick-up, delivery services, and warehouse or distribution operations in support of curbside, or delivery. All orders must occur over the phone or online and no in-store transactions are allowed at this time.
  • services operating with a single worker (such as appraisers, realtors, municipal clerks, attorneys, property managers, pet care operators and others), may resume operations so long as no more than 2 persons (service provider and client) are present at one time. 

Except for those businesses previously deemed critical or essential and allowed to operate subject to CDC and Vermont Department of Health guidelines, all other businesses remain subject to the Stay Home, Stay Safe Order which is in place until May 15, 2020. 
For those critical or essential businesses and new ones in this first phase of reopening, the Governor ordered the following physical distancing, health and sanitation measures in accordance with 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.
  • Employees must wear non-medical cloth face coverings (bandanna, scarf, or non-medical mask, etc.) 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.
  • Employees must have easy and frequent access to soap and water or hand sanitizer during duration of work, and handwashing or hand sanitization should be required before entering, and leaving, job sites. All common spaces and equipment, including bathrooms, frequently touched surfaces and doors, tools and equipment, and vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning, middle and end of each shift and prior to transfer from one person to another. 
  • No more than 2 people shall occupy one vehicle when conducting work. 

In addition, while the Governor fell short of requiring the public to wear face coverings, the Order did state that customers and the public in general are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings any time they are interacting with others from outside their households. 
Enforcement of these measures was not specified in the Addendum. While there are mechanisms in place to enforce Executive Orders, the Governor is stressing voluntary compliance and education as the primary means.  

Department of Labor 
The Governor separately announced that he is giving his Department of Labor until midnight Saturday night (April 18) to work through the backlog of those Vermonters seeking unemployment insurance benefits. For those individuals not getting assistance by that time, the Governor has directed the State Treasurer to send $1,200 checks to eligible Vermonters. Those still waiting for assistance from DOL are estimated to be in the tens of thousands. This is separate from any federal stimulus. There may also need to be an accounting or true-up following.