Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced new community mitigation measures Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Though most people affected by COVID-19 experience mild to moderate symptoms, others, such as the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions, are at higher risk of getting very sick from the virus.
Along with the Department of Health, Scott determined it is necessary to bar in-person operations in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.
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All gymnasiums, fitness centers and similar exercise facilities, hair salons and barbers, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors must close their doors no later than 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23.
The new restrictions are being implemented in an attempt to protect those most at risk and to slow the spread of the virus, Scott said.
This comes after the governor announced the state's first two coronavirus-related deaths on March 19.
“As I’ve said throughout this crisis, I will continue to act to slow the spread of this virus in Vermont because we must protect those at greatest risk of serious illness and ensure they can get the care they need, when they need it,” he said.
As of Saturday, all other business may remain open, but must follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines of maintaining a distance of at least six feet between people, ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures, such as washing hands regularly, ensuring that sick employees remain at home and regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The Green Mountain State has also limited non-essential mass gatherings to no more than 10 people.
Non-essential mass gatherings do not include normal operations at airports, bus or railway stations where people are in transit; typical office, construction, manufacturing, grocery store, food production, retail and retail banking; professional environments; gatherings of the press; or operations of the Vermont Judiciary or General Assembly consistent with their constitutional authority, the statement said.
“There is no doubt these are difficult times, and my administration – with the help of the legislature and Vermont’s Congressional delegation – will do all we can to help those impacted by this virus or these measures,” Scott said. “I’m proud of the people of our state and how they’ve pulled together. The strengthen of Vermonters is how I know we’ll get through it. I encourage everyone who is able, to join this movement to make a difference in this time of crisis.”