Gov. Phil Scott and state officials announce the Vermont Forward Plan for ‘phased reopening’

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Contact:
Jason Maulucci, Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
Jason.Maulucci@vermont.gov

Nate Formalarie, Communications Director
Agency of Commerce and Community Development
Nate.Formalarie@vermont.gov

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Governor Phil Scott and other officials today outlined the State’s stepped plan to methodically and safely ease mitigation measures as more Vermonters are vaccinated. The roadmap — which is subject to change based on real time circumstances — offers Vermonters, municipalities, non-profits, and businesses the ability to plan with greater certainty for the months ahead.

“We’re in the last laps of this race and this plan shows how we can finish strong if we all do our part,” said Governor Scott. “We need Vermonters to look at this roadmap and recommit to following the guidance so we can finish this pandemic with the fewest lives lost; with our kids back in school before the school year ends; and take every one of the steps forward on the timeline. I’m personally asking all of you to do your part. Please, we need your help today as much as we did last year at this time.”

The Vermont Forward Plan uses vaccination rates as the key milestones for transitioning Vermont businesses to more general, universal guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19; modifying travel guidance; and when gathering size can increase between now and July 4.

“As we make progress in vaccination, we can now look forward to a time when Vermonters are largely protected from COVID-19,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “But we cannot simply wait for this to happen. We have to make it happen. Our actions — to prevent further spread and get vaccinated — will allow us to gradually, and safely, go about our lives once again, as laid out in this plan.”

Vermont has substantially completed vaccination of its most at-risk residents, including those over the age of 65 and those with certain high-risk health conditions, as well as school employees, and workers in child care, health care, long term care and public safety sectors.

The state’s data shows cases, hospitalizations and deaths significantly decreasing among the 65+ age group, which is nearly 90% complete. Other regions, like Israel and the United Kingdom, have seen their case counts fall considerably as they approached 50% vaccination among their population. This is a threshold Vermont is expected to cross before the end of the month, with 35% of our population currently having received at least one dose, and 21% are fully vaccinated.

Universal guidance also transitions away from sector-specific measures, and towards general mitigation measures across most sectors. This will make it easier for organizations and individuals to understand, implement and follow preventive and protective measures. Some sectors, like health care and education, will retain individual guidance.

“We know our businesses need to see the path forward as they continue to expand operations after many months of reduced capacity. We are grateful for all business owners have done to keep Vermonters safe and look forward to our continued partnership in executing this plan,” said Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “One thing we have learned is this virus isn’t going away quietly, but we are confident that this plan can stay on track if all eligible Vermonters get vaccinated when it is their turn and continue to follow the health guidance between now and July 4.”

Vermont Forward Plan Steps

The steps in the roadmap (graphic below) offer dates for projected guidance changes and easing of certain restrictions. Three steps lead to July 4, when the State expects to transition universal guidance mandates into recommendations, and at which point things begin to feel much closer to how they did pre-pandemic.

The timeline is subject to change, but given current vaccination uptake and supply projections, the State feels confident the milestones can be met.

Universal Guidance

Universal guidance has five main tenets: Stay home if you’re sick, wear a mask, ensure six-foot spaces and uncrowded places, practice good hygiene, and know the travel restrictions.

Simplifying the guidance across sectors allows for more consistency, adaptation with current science and public health recommendations, and greater adherence to these measures and precautions.

For the purposes of transitioning business operations to universal guidance in a phased-in approach, tied to increasing vaccinations, sectors have been placed into two groups:

  • Group A: Low contact, short duration, outdoor and controlled environment
  • Group B: Long duration or close contact environments

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development will lay out full guidance as each step forward is taken. All guidance updates will now be made available in a central location, at https://www.vermont.gov/vermont-forward.

9 thoughts on “Gov. Phil Scott and state officials announce the Vermont Forward Plan for ‘phased reopening’

  1. Truth be told, with NH relaxing their COVID policies, VT better be too or tourism $$$ will be going next door. VT needs to fill their B&B’s, resorts, hotels, golf courses, lakes, etc. with $$$ from NY, MA, CT, NJ, etc. Scott would be a fool not to announce the Vermont Forward Plan for ‘phased reopening.’

  2. July 4th is more pie in the sky. My bet is on, there will be another reason why we can’t just go back to normal.

  3. Regarding the distancing requirements for “unvaccinated persons” in the plan, who is going to ask the question about vaccination? Such inquiries by just anyone are prohibited by HIPPA privacy and people are not obligated to answer such inquiries to just anyone who asks…or is King Scott proposing we suspend the HIPPA statutes too?

  4. This is dumb. What we’ve done in the US was follow what the WHO recommended, and what the WHO recommended was the scrapping of all pandemic plans that had been prepared beforehand and instead adhering to the Chinese lockdown method (thankfully refraining from welding citizens in their homes), no doubt inspired by the videos of Chinese citizens dropping dead of the deadly Covid-19. Only, that never happened, did it? Nowhere else did anyone show any signs similar to those frightening images, and the video of a man slowly falling, apparently completely out-of-it, only to rapidly extend his arms at the last minute to break his fall, is clearly an acting job. Thank you, China.

    Are there any studies at all that show that masks do anything significant in real-world situations, as opposed to laboratory set-ups? No. None. Did Sweden, which had no mask mandates and no social distancing and no plexiglass borders for school children, demonstrate that those children caught the disease easier than masked children? No, it did not. One thing we can say for certain: Swedish children, allowed to play and interact normally, fared far better than did children in the US, who were thrust into a fearful and confusing situation. In retrospect, we’ll find that we weren’t following the science at all; we were abusing it and censoring it.

    Vermont persists in its authoritarian folly and the damage to our children is immense, yet still we say to them: keep six feet apart and wear your mask. It’s absurd, unscientific, and inordinately authoritarian.

    Because Vermont and the rest of the world blindly discarded the science embodied in prior pandemic plans and went for an untried and highly damaging policy of general lockdowns inspired by a totalitarian regime, that robbed citizens of the right to assemble and move freely and work, the governors are not to be trusted with emergency medical powers, and these should be stripped from them. Advising citizens is one thing; turning us into a medical police state is quite another.

    • There’s an absolutely zero chance our legislators would do something useful such as limiting the Governor’s emergency powers to six months.

      It’s much easier to pile a bunch of additional taxes on us and the idiots who keep sending them back.

    • Re-posting a part of a comment I made in another article in this TNR dated page:

      Quoting from this link: https://selfreliancecentral.com/2020/12/01/covid-19-lockdowns-liberty-and-science/
      The Great Barrington Declaration, signed by over 7,000 scientists, virologists, and infectious disease experts believes that lockdowns are destroying “at least seven times as much life” as the disease itself and that in the United States and the United Kingdom, there is “irreparable damage” being done.

    • Here;’s some info about cloth masks from the CDC. Hope this helps. Apparently there are studies done by various outfits. Hard to find them. How trustworthy is the CDC?

      CDC-Effectiveness of Cloth Masks
      Protection Against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2
      https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/10/20-0948_article
      Volume 26, Number 10—October 2020 Online Report

      Abrar A. Chughtai, Holly Seale, and C. Raina Macintyre
      Author affiliations: University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales, Australia (A. Chughtai, H. Seale, C.R. Macintyre); Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA (C.R. Macintyre)

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