COVID-19 Updates

Daily Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
October 15, 2020

This update is available online at
Click the “See the Latest Update” button.
Please visit the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 web and data pages

Vermont Research Informs National Guidance on Close Contacts
An investigation conducted by Vermont Department of Health scientists and staff from the Department of Corrections found that transmission of COVID-19 can occur during multiple brief exposures with someone who is infected.

Notably, the findings of their work were published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly on October 21, 2020, and were cited by the CDC when it announced its updated definition of what is considered to be a close contact.

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD said he is “really proud of their work,” and pleased the CDC is taking this data into account, to increase understanding about the importance of maintaining physical distance.

Read the news release.

Dispose of your unused, unwanted & expired prescription drugs on Take Back Day
This Saturday, October 24, is Prescription Drug Take Back Day — when you can dispose of leftover prescription and over-the-counter drugs safely at a collection site near you.

Grab your unused medications, of course your mask, before heading to a drop-off location. Get more info at

And remember, you don’t have to wait for a Take Back Day either — many drug disposal sites in Vermont are permanent. Or you can request a free mail-back envelope through our website.

Halloween is coming, and you can still celebrate — safely!
Halloween may look a little different this year, but we can still find ways to celebrate safely.
Please be sure to stay home if you or anyone in your family is sick. Making these three things a part of your Halloween plans will make everyone safer:

6-foot Spaces
Keep a safe 6-foot distance between your family and other people who don’t live in your household. Bring a flashlight so you’re visible in the dark. You can get creative if you’re giving out candy. Need ideas? Have bags ready to grab on your front steps or slide the treats down a “candy slide!”

Masks on Faces
Make sure you and your family are wearing a face mask or covering when you go out. Find a fun way to make it part of your costume. But don’t wear a costume mask over your face mask, which could make it harder to breathe.

Uncrowded Places
Keep your group small and skip crowded indoor parties. If you’re trick-or-treating, and one street or neighborhood seems too busy, move on to the next one.

Get Your Flu Shot – Stay Healthy and Prevent a “Twindemic”
It’s especially important for everyone to get their flu shot this year – when flu viruses and the new coronavirus may be spreading at the same time. Help keep flu out of the picture!

We encourage everyone older than 6 months old (with rare exceptions), and especially people in a high-risk group or who have underlying health conditions to get their flu vaccine.

Go to to learn more about the flu, the vaccine and find where to get a
flu shot near you.

Case Information
Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont
As of 12 p.m. on October 22, 2020

Description                                         Number
Total cases*                                            1,987
                                                           (15 new)
Currently hospitalized                                 0
Hospitalized under investigation                3
Total people recovered                         1,718 
Deaths+                                                     58
People tested                                    181,677
Travelers monitored                                 542
Contacts monitored                                   82
People completed monitoring              9,868

* Includes testing conducted at the Health Department Laboratory, commercial labs and
other public health labs.
+ Death occurring in persons known to have COVID-19. Death certificate may be pending.

Hospitalization data is provided by the Vermont Healthcare Emergency Preparedness
Coalition and is based on hospitals updating this information.

Find more at the data dashboard:

Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities and Adult Day Programs
Find guidance for long-term care facilities and adult day programs, on the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living’s Restart Vermont web page.

Based on new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulatory guidance, indoor visitation will be allowed within strict parameters at nursing homes in counties with less than a 10% positivity rate.

Guidance for Vermonters and Businesses

• If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.
• If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider.
• Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet and wear a mask when near others.

Key Guidance:

• Health information, guidance and data:
• By sector guidance:
• Travel map and modeling:
• Governor’s actions:

Get the information you need at our Frequently Asked Questions.

School Guidance

• Strong and Healthy Start: Safety and Health Guidance for Vermont Schools

o Strong and Healthy Start FAQ: Transitioning from Step II to Step III

• Mental Health: A Strong and Healthy Start: Social, Emotional and Mental Health Supports During COVID-19

• Sports: Fall Sports Programs for the 2020-2021 School Year

• Child care: Health Guidance for Child Care and Out of School Care

More resources on our Schools, Colleges and Child Care Programs web page.

Traveler Information
Visit our Travel to Vermont web page for continually updated information and guidance, including about quarantine requirements, testing, and to sign up with Sara Alert for symptom check reminders.

The cross-state travel map is now updated each Tuesday.

Getting Tested for COVID-19
Anyone can get tested, but not everyone needs to get tested.
Talk with your health care provider If you think you should be tested for COVID-19.

• If you don’t have a provider, dial 2-1-1, or contact the nearest federally qualified health center or one of Vermont’s free & referral clinics.

Visit our testing web page for more guidance and where to get tested if you do need it.

Take Care of Your Emotional and Mental Health
If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs emotional support, help is available 24/7:

• Call your local mental health crisis line.
• Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
• Text VT to 741741 to talk with someone at the Crisis Text Line.
• For more information visit

Get self-help tips and connect to mental health services at COVID Support VT.
See ways for Coping with Stress.