COVID-19 Outreach

Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission is working with our municipalities to provide additional support and information to plan for, respond to, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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If you have questions about COVID-19: Dial 2-1-1. If you have trouble reaching 2-1-1, dial 1-866-652-4636.

If you are sick or concerned about your health: Contact your health care provider by phone. Not everybody needs to be tested. Do not call the Health Department. Do not go to the hospital, except in a life-threatening situation.

CVMC COVID-19 Call Center is open 7 days a week 8am – 5pm – Call  802-371-5310

 

Vermont Department of Health Map of Corona Virus by Town

Vermont Department of Health (VDH) COVID-19 website:  https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid19

VDH COVID-19 daily updates: https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/Covid-19-Daily-Update.pdf

CDC COVID-19 website: https://www.coronavirus.gov/

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Emergency Management

The FEMA emergency declaration (issued 03/13) applies to emergency protective measures in preparation for/in response to COVID-19. Examples include call center staffing, emergency operations center costs, and PPE purchased for critical care. Municipalities should track all response costs related to COVID-19 similar to other disasters; view a sample tracking cost sheet. If an organization has/may have at least $3,300 in eligible uninsured costs, submit a FEMA Request for Public Assistance (RPA) form.  READ MORE>>

LHMP’s & ERAF:  for the purposes of calculating ERAF,  LHMP’s must be current within 30 days following the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) returning to “monitoring” status.  SEOC will notify municipalities of that date. 

The SEOC holds bi-weeklyVermont State Emergency Operations Center Call for local officials and first responders on alternate Thursdays @ 2 PM, with the next call scheduled for July 2nd.  Submit specific questions prior to the call (no later than Thursday at 10am) here. See a summary of FAQs here  (list is updated weekly after the call.

Municipality Status & Updates

CVRPC collects data from its municipalities regarding their current status (see municipal chart below).  In addition we are also providing regular updates to the towns with updated information and resources (link below).

US Economic Development Administration Makes $1.5B Available to Communities

The US Economic Development Administration has made $1.5 billion from CARES Act funds available to communities for economic development assistance programs to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis.

COVID-19 Work Plan for Municipalities

In the phased reopening of Vermont workplaces, controlling people’s exposure to COVID-19 is paramount.  As with the manufacturing and construction sectors, municipal operations also need to establish work plans that specify how they comply with specific workplace requirements regarding employee safety and social distancing.

VLCT PACIF developed template to assist individual municipalities in creating their own COVID-19 work plan to meet these requirements and ensure the safety of their employees.  The template and additional information is available on their website.

Municipalities Are Essential

VLCT has joined the National League of Cities’ “Cities Are Essential” campaign to designate federal funding in the Phase 4 COVID-19 stimulus package for cities, towns, and villages throughout the U.S. Read more.

Governor Signs Important Legislation

Governor Scott signed three bills into law: S.344 is an act relating to temporary municipal tax rate provisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Local Emergency Management Plans (LEMPs)

LEMPs should be adopted by Towns by May 1st annually in accordance with 20 V.S.A § 6 and the State Emergency Management Plan. This deadline has not been extended. A current LEMP is required for municipalities to receive federal preparedness funds and increased state reimbursement through the Emergency Relief and Assistance Fund (ERAF). The LEMP municipal adoption form and LEMP template can be found on Vermont Emergency Management’s website: https://vem.vermont.gov/plans/lemp

CVRPC can assist municipalities to update their LEMPs. Contact Grace Vinson, vinson@cvregion.com.

Open Meeting Law and Virtual Public Meetings

Per H.681, public bodies may now hold meetings by electronic or other means without being physically present or having staff present at a physical location. These emergency measures are applicable only during the Governor’s declared state of emergency due to COVID 19. Secretary of State’s Office summary, and FAQ’s published by VLCT. 

Municipal Borrowing

Municipalities that had to borrow in order to pay statewide education property tax on time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can apply to recoup interest incurred between 3/1 and 12/30 of 2020. More information here.

New COVID-19 FAQs for Municipal Operations

The Vermont League of Cities and Towns offers updated FAQs for municipalities on recent guidance and its legal and practical effects on general municipal operations, as well as information related to municipal services such as dog licensing, access to public records, town office closures and re-openings, and processing zoning applications.

Community Support

This pandemic has seen incredible community response; many communities in our region have established mutual aid agreements or volunteer groups to distribute resources to those in need. See our Municipal Office Status Chart for information on community groups in your area.

  • The Washington and Northern Orange Counties Regional Response Command Center (WNOC-RRCC) has been established to meet the needs of vulnerable populations; and to the extent possible, insure our medical system is not overwhelmed.   Sign up for their weekly newsletter here.  As of May 15th, Call Center hours are changing. The Call Center will no longer be staffed on weekends, and the new hours are:  10:00 am-4:00 pm on weekdays.  Call or Text 802-636-2025.

  • Vermont Council on Rural Development has compiled a COVID 19 Community Response & Mutual Aid Toolkit to serve as a best practices guide for establishing local mutual aid networks and is hosting regular online convening’s for local and regional response groups, Contact mailto:info@vtrural.org or (802) 223-6091 with questions.

Food Access

Farmers to Families Food Box Distributions – The Vermont Foodbank continues partnering with The Abbey Group, the State of Vermont, and the Vermont National Guard and to provide boxes of chicken, produce, dairy products, and non-perishable food at distributions held throughout the state. For the most up-to-date information visit:  https://humanresources.vermont.gov/food-help

For additional information on food access, including meals ready to eat distribution (MRE’s) and a map to the closest food pantry, please visit Vermont Foodbank’s website https://www.vtfoodbank.org/.

Many local schools are providing meals to children, view meal service info by district here

Pandemic EBT

P-EBT is a new resource available to families with school-aged kids who have been impacted by the current school closure. P-EBT provides money to purchase groceries to families with kids who would be accessing free school meals if school wasn’t closed.

Many families have already been notified that they qualify and will be receiving P-EBT soon. Households already enrolled in 3SquaresVT will have P-EBT loaded on the card they already have. Other households will get an EBT card in the mail, similar to a debit card, that can be used at most food retailers.  The following links provide additional information:  Pandemic EBT, FaceBook

Transportation

Green Mountain Transit has experienced a decrease in ridership and driver shortages as a result of COVID-19.  See https://ridegmt.com/covid-19-update/ for a full list of service modifications.

Business Resources

ACCD’s COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center includes comprehensive information for businesses, individuals, and communities to assist in recovery and FAQs on how to access resources. This page is updated daily to reflect the latest news and information: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19-guidance

For unemployment claims and support, connect with VT Department of Labor: http://labor.vermont.gov/unemployment-insurance/ui-claimants

Central Vermont Economic Development Corporations website summarizes COVID- related programs, resources, and assistance for the local business community.

Small businesses and private nonprofits can apply for a low-interest Economic Injury Disaster loans are available through the Small Business Administration: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. The deadline to apply is December 21, 2020.

Weekly COVID-19 Updates for Municipalities

ACCD has changed t0 a bi-weekly schedule for their COVID-19 Q&A.  They will now be alternate Mondays @ 2 PM, with the next being Monday June 29th. This Q&A helps to ensure local leaders have timely, accurate information they need to protect the health and safety of their employees and residents. Ask questions and learn about best practices, new tools, and resources. 

RESOURCES

USDA – https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_COVID-19_Fed_Rural_Resource_Guide.pdf

Interactive Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map Now Available

The Vermont Department of Public Service has released an interactive Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map to help Vermonters connect to publicly available internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The map includes the location of the Wi-Fi hot spots and pertinent information about how to access them, including places where users can access Wi-Fi from outside the building or in a parked vehicle to encourage social distancing. Vermonters are encouraged to send information about Wi-Fi hot spots to psd.telecom@vermont.gov and review additional connectivity resources from the Department of Public Service online.

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State and Municipal COVID-19 Webpages

 

Governor’s Executive Orders

Vermont Emergency Management

VEM- Guidance for Municipal Officials and Local Responders

Agency of Commerce & Community Development

Agency of Education

Agency of Agriculture

Department of Mental Health

VT Secretary of State

Public Service Department

Department of Labor

Department of Children & Families

Department of Fire Safety

Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living

Vermont League of Cities and Towns

One Care Vermont