Gov. Phil Scott on Monday announced an executive order directing anyone traveling to Vermont from other states to quarantine for two weeks as cases of COVID-19 mount.
The order directs residents and non-residents coming from outside the state “for anything other than an essential purpose” to quarantine and “strongly discourages travel to Vermont by those located in COVID-19 ‘hot spots.’”
The move comes after the Centers for Disease Control last week issued guidance about interstate travel from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, advising residents of those states to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.
“We all must do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 to minimize infections - particularly for those who are elderly or have underlying chronic health conditions -- and prevent it from overwhelming our healthcare facilities,” Scott said.
“I understand there will be some who need to travel from other states to return to a home in Vermont or support a vulnerable family member. But we need anyone entering Vermont to abide by this 14-day self-isolation directive.”
The order also provided additional guidance to hotels and motels to ensure compliance with a stay-at-home order issued last week.
Under the guidelines, all lodging facilities – which includes hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, short term rentals, camping facilities and RV parks – must be closed except for those approved to be open by the state.
Scott said Vermont State Police and local law enforcement will monitor lodging providers to ensure they are in compliance.
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Health officials had reported 256 cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Monday, including 12 fatal cases.
Health commissioner Mark Levine said two of the deaths were connected to a senior living facility in Essex Junction.
Levine said one of the fatalities was the significant other of an employee at the facility; the other was a resident.
He added that the health department was working to identify anyone who had been in contact with the victims.
The vast majority of cases have been reported from Chittenden County, where 117 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. Some cases remain under investigation and have yet to be assigned to a county.