UPDATE ON NEW WORK SAFE ADDITIONS TO THE STAY HOME, STAY SAFE ORDER
FROM: Lindsay Kurrle, Secretary, Agency of Commerce and Community Development
TO: Vermont Businesses and Employers
DATE: April 17, 2020
RE: Update on New Work Safe Additions to the Stay Home, Stay Safe Order
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 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).
- All 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.
BUSINESS CUSTOMER & GENERAL PUBLIC MASK USE
Customers, and the public in general, is encouraged to wear cloth face coverings any time they are interacting with others from outside their household.
Business operations deemed “essential” may continue to operate under pre-existing guidance with the addition of the mandatory health and safety requirements for all business operations 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 - 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 guidance below, the following:
Phase 1: Effective April 20, 2020
1.1 Outdoor Businesses & Construction Operations
- Those who exclusively or largely work outdoors (such as civil engineering, site work, exterior construction, skilled trades, public works, energy and utility work, mining, forestry, environmental monitoring, landscaping, painting, tree work, parks maintenance, delivery work, etc.) may resume operations with a maximum of 2 total workers per location/job.
- Interior construction may occur in unoccupied structures, adhering to social distancing standards, with no more than 2 workers maintaining social distance between them whenever possible.
- Supporting services that were not previously deemed essential may resume operations with the minimum number of employees necessary to support curbside pick-up and delivery services; adherence to the mandatory health and safety requirements and compliance with 1.2 below required.
1.2 Retail Operations (clarifying existing guidance)
- Retailers, including those that operate in an outdoor setting, may conduct limited operations such as 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; no in-store transactions are allowed at this time.
- Only the minimum number of employees necessary to support curbside pick-up and delivery services are allowed at any one store, site, or location.
1.3 Low or no contact professional services
- Services operating with a single worker (such as appraisers, realtors, municipal clerks, attorneys, property managers, pet care operators, and others) may operate if they can comply with the mandatory health and safety requirements listed above, with no more than 2 persons (service provider and client) present at one time.
If your business or circumstance does not meet these criteria, additional guidance will be forthcoming.
For additional details, please review the Stay Home, Stay Safe Sector Specific Guidance.