Vermont – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions taken to date. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


Vermont Health Department coronavirus resource page.– This resource page is regularly updated with guidance for healthcare providers, long term care facilities, schools, child care centers, businesses and more.

  • February 28, 2020—The Vermont Agency of Education issued guidance to Vermont schools on materials, cleaning and disinfecting, travel guidance, school closure and absences. 
  • March 2, 2020—Governor Scott established a COVID-19 Task Force to support the state’s ongoing public health response
  • March 6, 2020—The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation issued an Insurance Bulletin instructing all health insurers in Vermont to cover any medically necessary COVID-19 testing with no co-payment, coinsurance or deductible.
  • March 10, 2020—Governor Scott activated the State Emergency Operations Center to expand the state’s capacity to coordinate and respond to COVID-19.
  • March 10, 2020—The Vermont Department of Health issued guidance to healthcare providers and workers regarding death certification and disposition of remains for patients with COVID-19. 
  • March 13, 2020—Governor Scott declared a state of emergency
  • March 15, 2020 – The Governor announced a Continuity of Education Plan for the orderly dismissal of all schools, and cancellation of all school related activities, no later than March 18.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor announced new guidance and action taken in response to COVID-19:
    • Restricting the size of mass gatherings to the lesser of 50 people or 50% of the occupancy of certain facilities.
    • The closure of all bars and restaurants statewide. Establishments can continue to offer food takeout and delivery service. This measure is effective beginning 2:00 PM on March 17 and is in effect until April 6; and
    • State government agencies and departments are working to transition the state employee workforce to remote work, while also implementing measures to limit person to person transactions in state offices.
  • March 17, 2020  – The Governor issued guidance to childcare centers to close normal operations but continue essential operations as needed to provide childcare to workers essential to the COVID-19 response.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Vermont Agencies of Education and Human Services issued official guidance regarding “Supporting the Childcare Needs of Essential Persons During a Novel Coronavirus Outbreak,” in line with the Governor’s directive for schools to provide childcare to essential persons in the state’s COVID-19 response.
  • March 18, 2020 – Vermont designated grocery employees as emergency workers. 
  • March 19, 2020 – Vermont Governor Scott issued a gubernatorial directive to the Department of Liquor and Lottery amending regulations related to onsite alcoholic beverage consumption in support of small businesses affected by restaurant closures. 
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor announced the availability of U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million for Vermont small businesses. 
  • March 21, 2020 – The Governor announced additional mitigation measures prohibiting in-person operations at businesses unable to comply with social-distancing guidelines, including gyms, fitness centers, salons, spas, and tattoo parlors.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Vermont Department of Public Service has released an interactive Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map to help citizens connect to public internet.
  • March 24, 2020 – The Governor issued a “Stay at Home Order” directing Vermonters to leave their homes only for critical reasons, and suspending in-person operations of all businesses and not-for-profit entities not expressly exempt.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor directed schools to remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Division of Children and Families released Financial Incentives to Child Care Programs serving the COVID-19 Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor ordered additional restrictions on travelers arriving in Vermont, including a 14-day self-quarantine for all travelers and request for those from areas identified as COVID-19 “hot spots” to not travel to the state.
  • March 30, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Vermont’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Vermont to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, and extend fair hearing timelines.
  • March 31, 2020 – The Governor announced the launch of a website allowing people to sign up to volunteer to support the state’s COVID-19 response. The website will direct Vermonters to the appropriate volunteer program based on their skills.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor announced that public safety officials are monitoring vehicle traffic along the border to track the flow of out-of-state traffic into Vermont.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Agency of Commerce and Community Development launched a new website to help affected businesses navigate new state and federal aid programs.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor announced coordination with the Vermont National Guard to prepare communities and hospitals to increase capacity for a medical surge.  The National Guard is creating two additional capacity care sites in addition to regionally deployed sites.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Governor issued an order clarifying that the expiration date of all previous orders and guidance must comply with the April 15 expiration date provided in the Stay Home, Stay Safe order.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor submitted a request for a federal disaster declaration.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor announced the approval of Vermont’s request for a federal disaster declaration.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor and the Department of Motor Vehicles announced the launch of an online system for license renewals.
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor extended the State of Emergency through May 15. The Executive Order also extends the expiration of all orders pertaining to the COVID-19 response.
  • April 13, 2020 – The Governor signed Act 91 to grant expedited temporary licensure for health care professionals.
  • April 14, 2020 – The Governor and Agency of Commerce and Community Development announced the establishment of the Economic Mitigation & Recovery Task Force, charged with providing technical assistance and expertise to mitigate economic impacts and develop strategies for recovery.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor and the Department of Financial Regulation announced an emergency regulation requiring commercial insurers to waive cost-sharing requirements for diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Agency of Commerce & Community Development is interested in hearing from all Vermont businesses impacted by the response to the COVID-19 virus. The agency urges business owners to continue to share these impacts via the Agency Business Impact Form, which will help in assessing the full impact as the agency works toward solutions.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor signed an addendum to Executive Order 01-20, instituting new health and safety requirements under which certain businesses and operations and single-person low contact professional services may begin operations.
  • April 21, 2020 –  The Governor and the Commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation announced a multi-state initiative to secure student loan relief options for Vermonters with privately held student loans.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor and the Department of Financial Regulation Commissioner announced that more than forty additional auto insurance companies have filed plans to return premiums or reduce rates for Vermont policyholders. 
  • April 24, 2020 – The Governor announced additional openings as part of the phased restart of Vermont’s economic, while the Stay Home, Stay Safe order remains in effect.
    • The Governor signed an Executive Order requiring operating businesses to: implement physical distancing, health, and sanitation measures; require employees to wear face coverings; and for employers to provide – and for employees to complete – training on health and safety requirements.
  • April 29, 2020 – The Governor announced efforts to increase and strengthen contact tracing programs.
  • May 1, 2020 – The Governor announced the third, incremental step forward to reopen Vermont. The addendum:
    • Allows crews of 10 or fewer employees per job location to perform outdoor work and construction work;
    • Allows manufacturing and distribution operations to resume with a maximum of 10 employees in any location if they adhere to social distancing;
    • Allows manufacturing, construction and distribution operations to restart with as few employees as necessary to permit full operations; and
    • Requires additional health and safety requirements for employees, including pre-screening and temperature checks and VOSHA developed health and safety training.
  • May 4, 2020 – The Governor announced that limited elective procedures would resume.
    May 6, 2020 – The Governor announced the resumption of outdoor recreation and limited social interactions while following strict health and safety precautions.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor announced that Comcast will begin a network expansion project to expand broadband service to address the digital divide highlighted by COVID-19.
  • May 13, 2020 – The Governor announced that Vermonters who do not display symptoms are now able to be tested at one of eleven pop-up testing sites around the state.  
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor signed Addendum 14, extending the State of Emergency to June 15, and updating previous emergency orders to reflect re-openings and eased restrictions announced in recent weeks.
  • May 20, 2020 – The Governor announced a $400 million economic relief and recovery package, using funds from the CARES Act. Phase 1 of the relief package will involve four areas of direct action to support businesses and Vermonters:
    • Financial assistance;
    • Housing assistance;
    • Technical assistance; and
    • Marketing support.
  • May 22, 2020 – The Governor announced the resumption of additional business operations, including outdoor seating at restaurants and bars, hair salons and barber shops, and some additional health services.
  • May 22, 2020 – The Vermont Department of Health announced the opening of nearly two dozen additional pop-up sites to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • May 28, 2020 – The Governor announced the approval of a premium relief plan submitted by Northeast Delta Dental, Vermont’s largest provider of dental benefits. In total, $2.89 million in premium relief will be provided to approximately 70,000 Vermonters after the suspension of most dental services due to the pandemic.
  • May 29, 2020 – The Governor announced the resumption of additional close-contact businesses, dental procedures, businesses that require work in the home, and of limited overnight youth summer camp programming.
  • June 1, 2020 – The Governor and the Department of Motor Vehicles announced a plan to resume driver’s license tests and a new service for Vermonters to receive their learner’s permit online.
  • June 5, 2020 – The Governor announced the resumption of limited indoor seating at restaurants and bars. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development issued health and safety requirements and procedures to allow limited indoor dining at restaurants and bars beginning on June 8. Under the guidance, indoor occupancy is limited to 25% capacity with distance requirements between tables.
  • June 15, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order extending the State of Emergency until July 15. The order reflects all current re-openings and eased restrictions.
  • June 17, 2020 – The Governor announced a phased reopening, in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Disabilities Aging and Independent Living (DAIL), to gradually ease restrictions on long-term care facilities, hospitals, and for those over the age of 65. Beginning June 19, long-term residential care facilities can allow for up to two visitors per resident, per day, in adherence with guidance issued by DAIL.
  • June 19, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state will raise occupancy limits for event venues, arts, culture, and entertainment venues, as well as restaurants, beginning on June 26. The change will expand capacity for venues up to 50% of approved occupancy and allow for indoor events of up to 75 people, and outdoor organized events of up to 150 people.
  • June 23, 2020 – The Governor and the Vermont Department of Labor announced changes to the Unemployment Insurance program that will reduce employers’ UI tax rates and increase the maximum weekly benefit amount for UI claimants.
  • June 26, 2020 – The Governor announced the expansion of the number of states covered under Vermont’s county-by-county quarantine-free travel policy.
  • July 1, 2020 – The Governor announced Vermont’s Economic Recovery Grant Program will launch on July 6, 2020.  The grant program first proposed by the Administration and amended by the legislature utilizes federal CARES Act funding to provide direct cash grants to Vermont businesses who have seen lost revenue because of COVID-19.