What do we need to do to stay safe?
DO I NEED TO STAY HOME?
Yes, stay home and stay safe. Governor Scott signed an order directing all Vermonters to stay at home and directed the closure of in-person operations for all non-essential businesses. You should only go out for reasons critical to health and safety. If you leave your home, you should adhere to “social distancing,” policies, including remaining six feet from others (except for those with whom you share a home) and thoroughly and regularly wash your hands.
Skipping gatherings and practicing social distancing even when you are young, feel healthy and/or are at lower risk for complications of COVID-19, can slow the spread of the coronavirus. Flattening the epidemic curve (preventing a sharp peak of infections at one time) allows the health care system to manage the volume of patients better. Slowing the spread also provides more time for researchers to increase testing capacity and/or develop vaccines.
DO I NEED TO WEAR A MASK? HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM THE VIRUS?
Healthy individuals do not need to wear masks—a mask won’t protect you. Healthy people wearing masks could cause shortages of masks for those who need them, like health care providers and people who are sick. If you do have symptoms, wearing a mask can help you avoid transmitting the virus to others. You can best prevent the virus spreading the same way you prevent the cold or flu—wash your hands often and for 20 seconds duration, wipe down and disinfect often-used surfaces, cough into your elbow, cover your mouth and don’t touch your face. If you haven’t already gotten a flu shot, do so now. While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, it’s important to keep yourself free of other illnesses that would reduce your resistance should you come into contact with COVID-19.
WHAT ABOUT RESTAURANTS AND BARS? IS IT SAFE TO GO OUT? HOW ABOUT TAKE-OUT?
The Governor has ordered the closure of all bars and restaurants statewide. Establishments can continue to offer food takeout and delivery service. This measure is effective beginning 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 and is in effect until April 6, though this could be extended. In addition, effective March 19 through April 6, patrons can order beer, wine and spirit-based drinks for delivery and take-out from restaurants, bars and other establishments.
The governor announced that no later than 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020, gymnasiums, fitness centers and similar exercise facilities, hair salons and barbers, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors shall cease all in-person operations.