Coronavirus Resource Guide

Our Team is updating this daily as more information becomes available to support you, your business, and your employees.

CDC Issues Updated Guidance For Masking In COVID Hot Spots on 7/27/21

The CDC has issued an updated recommendation that those in COVID hot spots (red areas on this map) wear masks while indoors regardless of vaccination status in order to maximize protection from the Delta variant as it spreads. VRGA is monitoring these developments and will keep members apprised of changing guidance and regulations.

Vermont is Fully Open

As of June 14, 2021, more than 80% of eligible Vermonters have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and Governor Phil Scott has authorized the move to Step 4 of the Vermont Forward Plan, lifting business, gathering, and travel related restrictions, nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.

What does this mean:

Universal Guidance includes:

Statewide Mask Mandate No Longer In Place for All Vermonters

As Vermont has now entered Stage 4 of Vermont Forward, there is no longer a statewide mask mandate in place. Unvaccinated Vermonters are encouraged to wear masks and socially distance. Business owners should keep in mind that OSHA and VOSHA have their own guidance on masking in the workplace, please follow the guidance in the section below entitled “Mask Use for Employees” before making changes to your business processes.

OSHA and VOSHA Issue Updated Guidance on Protecting Workers

Mask Use for Employees

Cleaning:

Useful Printouts

State of Emergency Expired June 15th

The most recent EO (signed May 15th) extending the State of Emergency entered into in March of 2020 was not renewed. The State of Emergency ends at midnight on June 15th, 2021. The Governor has stated that he will sign a new, separate, EO to continue essential services and funding in relation to the pandemic.

New Executive Order Issued

The Office of Governor Scott has issued a new Executive Order to ensure federal funding continues to flow to the state as it combats remaining COVID-19 matters. This order: Maintains the Vermont National Guard’s State Service Status to allow them to continue to assist in pandemic relief, maintains access to federal funding for housing and feeding Vermonters in need, and allows the continuance of to-go drinks until H. 313 becomes effective on July 1st and continues their sale by law.

The full order can be viewed here.

Staying Safe and Compliant

Alcohol Sales: Take Out, Curbside Orders Allowed Through 2023

Curbside and to-go alcohol will continue through 2023 due to the Governor signing H. 313/Act 70. This bill does not allow for continued delivery of alcohol.

Per H.313 restaurants, bars, and retailers can continue to offer for take out and curbside:

If you are considering offering this, we strongly encourage you to contact your Insurance agent to discuss your current Liquor Liability coverage.

Labor Issues

CURRENT LABOR LAW: Labor law during COVID-19 has rapidly changed and adapted to the situations that have arisen. Check the Vermont Department of Labor website for consistently up to date information. For specific issues you cannot find answers to, reach out to the VRGA team so we can assist. Breakdowns of major changes/additions to the labor law system are below.

Refusal to Return to Work

The Department of Labor reminds unemployment claimants who have been placed on temporary layoff or furlough related to COVID-19 that they must return to work if called back by their employer. Refusal to return to work, when being offered the normal rate of pay and number of hours per week, may result in the termination of unemployment benefits and the need to repay certain benefits.

If your employees have refused to return to work and are instead continuing to draw unemployment benefits, you must report this to the state Department of Labor. Employers should complete the online refusal to work form.

Work Search Requirement Reinstated for UI Recipients

As of Sunday, May 9th, 2021 the Department of Labor’s work search requirement is back in effect. Claimants who are filing in regular UI and do not have a COVID qualifying reason, as well as claimants filing in PUA who are not categorized as self-employed or independent contractors, and who do not have a COVID qualifying reason, will be required to begin making three work contacts each week beginning the week of May 9 – May 15. Only legitimate work inquiries will be considered valid.

The work search requirement was waived last spring when Governor Phil Scott’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order went into effect. Details on upcoming work search events can be found here.


Resources

Keeping Employees Safe Let's Grow Kids Childcare Options

FDA Daily Updates The Wage and Hour Division FAQ

Attorney General's CAP Small Business Help Guidance for Preparing the Workplace

OSHA COVID 19 Prevention and Information Agricultural Related COVID-19 Resources