Pawlet Area COVID-19 Information & Resources

Vermont Department of Health Update on COVID-19

Find the full update on healthvermont.gov/covid19 by clicking
the “See the Latest Update” button.

Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont As of 11:00 a.m. on May 26, 2020

  • Total cases* 967
  • Currently hospitalized 1
  • Hospitalized under investigation 24
  • Total people recovered 848
  • Deaths+ 54
  • People tested 30,423
  • People being monitored 30
  • People completed monitoring 878

Wear a Cloth Mask – Make wearing cloth face masks or coverings a habit whenever you leave home. The covering should go over your mouth and nose. Since COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, this covering helps you protect others. Learn more about how to use and make cloth face masks or coverings and where you can buy one(link is external).

Be Smart, Stay Safe – See guidance on small steps you can take to safely visit with a friend or family member. It is important to continue physical distancing when you leave home, to prevent new cases from quickly increasing. Keep six feet between yourself and others when you are out.

Testing at Pop-up Locations – Anyone without symptoms can now be tested at a pop-up location. Health care workers, first responders and child care providers are encouraged to get tested. People who are returning to Vermont, and who are at day 7 or later in their quarantine period, can also be tested. Find testing locations and dates and register for a test(link is external).

Call your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms: cough, fever, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell. 

People Coming to Vermont – Residents and non-residents coming to Vermont ­– for anything other than an essential purpose ­­– should quarantine at home for 14 days.


Emergency Planning for the Town of Pawlet

Notice to the Pawlet Area Community: Because of the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, local in-person events have been cancelled. Please observe current health advisories to stay home. Keep informed, stay connected online and take care of yourselves!

The Pawlet Emergency Management Team will provide updated local and State information on COVID-19 as it becomes available. For daily updates on this situation, please watch and like their Facebook page. For national or global information refer to the CDC website or the Vermont Department of Health website.

Thank you for understanding that these are unusual times, requiring precautions for public safety and health. Many Pawlet community members are in the high-risk group, and we believe taking these precautions will help keep ourselves and our community members healthy. As always, your best advice will come from www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus.


Local Services for the Pawlet Area Community

Critical Emergency Services will be available as usual. If you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

Pawlet eNews

Sign up to receive Pawlet’s electronic newsletter. The eNews will be updated weekly until the current situation eases. Please forward any information about local resources and support to Elizabeth Gibson, egib@vermontel.net by Thursday of each week. Thank you.

Pawlet Public Library

Effective March 18, the Library is closed to the public. All Library programs and events are postponed, and community use of the Library spaces is suspended. While there is currently no way to check out a book or use interlibrary loan, there are still ways to use the Library:

  • The Library staff is still working. You can contact them by calling 802-325-3123 or sending an e-mail to pawletpub@gmail.com
  • The Library’s Wi-Fi is on continuously and available to anyone who wants to park by the building to access it. Remember to maintain social distancing.
  • All Pawlet Public Library card holders can access our free digital services. If you need help with your login and password, or if you would like to obtain a library card, please contact the Library staff.
  • Digital resources can be found on the home page of the Library’s website: www.pawletpubliclibrary.wordpress.com. There are four options:
  1. Listen Up! Vermont (also known as Overdrive or Libby) to access free downloadable audio and eBooks.
  2. Universal Class to access self-passed online continuing education.
  3. Green Mountain Internet Archive to access books, movies and music, including 63,000 items featured by the Digital Public Library of America.
  4. Vermont Online Library to access help with any topic, everything from newspapers articles and magazines to DIY car repair. (Free to all Vermonters, options for all ages from elementary school through adult)

Pawlet Library Play Group: Our Play Group is going virtual!! Please join our group using Zoom each Friday at 10 am. We will sing some songs, read some books and discuss  how we can connect and support each other during this time. These are indeed unprecedented times we are living in, and we need to be able to support and connect with each other more than ever. I look forward to ‘seeing’ you! – Joni Eekhoff-Lee

Contact Joni if you would like to join the virtual play group.

Town Office and Services

Protocol for Opening to Public BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Effective: May 19, 2020 **UPDATED**

• You MUST call ahead and make an appointment prior to coming to the town hall. You will be permitted to conduct research only in the amount of time that you have reserved.
• You MAY NOT come to the Town Hall if you have been exposed to or are showing symptoms of any form of illness; including but not limited to coughing or sneezing, or if you have recently traveled into the area from out of town and have not completed the required 14-day quarantine
• You MUST wear a properly fitting mask (covering nose and mouth) for the entire time of your visit. If you are not wearing a mask you WILL NOT be permitted to enter the building
• You MUST sanitize your hands upon entering the building
• You will be asked to wear gloves to handle land record books
• Be prepared to have your temperature taken with a no contact reader
• Bring the supplies you will need to conduct your business (ie. writing/marking utensils, paper, stapler, paper clips, tape, folders, envelopes)
• We do have wi-fi so you will be able to use your own phone for wi-fi calling
• You will remain in the contained/designated area of the building
• Please exercise patience and respect during your visit to the town hall
• Genealogy research is suspended at this time
• A drop box is provided outside the door for payments, etc.

Watch the Pawlet Town Clerk Facebook page for updates. 

As always, call (802) 325-3309 and leave messages or email us as we are here for you.  We will all get through this together…We Are Vermont Strong!   

  • Pawlet Town Clerk, Deb Hawkins: pawletclerk@vermontel.net
  • Assessor’s Office: pawletlister@vermontel.net
  • Treasurer, Julie Mach: pawlettreas@Vermontel.net

Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department

The Pawlet Volunteer Fire Department will continue to provide emergency services with no disruption. To request emergency assistance, dial 911. The firehouse is closed to the public and will not be available for rental until the State of Emergency is rescinded.  

COVID-19 is expected to place a tremendous burden on local emergency services in the coming weeks. We ask for your assistance in keeping emergency response to a minimum by being especially cautious and conscientious. With spring wildfire season upon us, we remind all residents that a permit is required by law for any outdoor burning of brush. The permit is free. To seek a permit, contact the Town Forest Fire Wardens, Dale Decker (325-3721) or David Hosley (645-0158). 

We also remind all residents that mixing cleaning products is extremely dangerous. Mixing bleach with vinegar, ammonia, or rubbing alcohol creates highly toxic byproducts. Dilute bleach with water only. 

Town of Pawlet Highway Department

The Highway Department will continue regular service throughout this outbreak. However, there will be no visitors allowed at the Town Garage during this time. If you need road service, you can contact the Town Garage at 802-325-3467 and leave a message.

Mettawee Community School

The Governor has ordered the cessation of in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. The Mettawee Community School is also closed to all public functions. For the most current information, please visit the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union website at https://sites.google.com/brsu.org/coronavirusupdates/home

Churches

The Pawlet Community Church is taking precautionary safety measures around the Coronavirus outbreak and will suspend all church services until further notice. This includes Sunday Services and our monthly Pork Suppers. Pastor, Tracy Weatherhogg, will hold online Sunday services on Facebook at 9:30 a.m. We hope you will join our community online. Blessings and good health to all.

Mettowee Valley Church: Due to COVID19 all activities and services will be cancelled until further notice. We will be praying for your safety, please take precautions.

Rupert United Methodist: Pastor Thomas Atkins has made the difficult decision to cancel church services for the next few Sundays. “We will see how things have sorted out between now and then to see what we do going forward. I am of the belief that if ever there was a time when we need church and each other, it is now. But with coronavirus numbers doubling each day, and with some of our own congregation living in shutdown states (NY), and others in self-quarantine because of travel and visits to the hospital, this seems to be the only prudent thing to do to protect us all. I will be doing an abbreviated live church via the internet until we are allowed to worship together again. Please visit our website www.rupertumc.org/ to access our virtual services.”

All of the Catholic parishes within the Diocese of Burlington have cancelled Mass, sacraments and devotions until further notice.

Stores & Restaurants

Sheldon’s Market remains in operation with normal business hours, daily from 6am – 8pm. Customers are encouraged to call ahead with their order and items can be brought to you on the porch or to your car. 802-325-3390

The Barn Restaurant: Effective March 18, The Barn will be offering a special menu for curbside pickup Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The menu is updated on our Facebook page.  The menu will be subject to change and can now include takeout of beer, wine and cocktails. The only stipulation is that it must accompany a food order. Call anytime between two and six pm at 802-325-3088. In order to minimize personal contact, we request that payment and any gratuity be made by credit card during phone order. Curbside pickup at the restaurant will be right outside the dining room entrance.

As always, The Barn places your safety and the cleanliness of our kitchen and facilities at the very top of our priority list. A ServeSafe-Certified individual will be onsite during all food preparation and handling. Together we can get through these challenging times! We are so grateful for your business.

The Station Restaurant: Closed until further notice.

Pawlet Food Pantry: Frozen prepared meals, healthy and free, are available at the food pantry for those in need every third Friday of each month, 9 AM-12 PM, at the Pawlet Community Church. Know someone in need who can’t make it to the pick up? We can help! Call: 802-867-2409. Meals are provided by The Grateful Hearts non-profit food program.

A Helping Hand in Pawlet: The Pawlet Community Church Food Pantry and the Barn Restaurant are raising money to help stock food pantry supplies, as well as offer pick-up and delivery of free meals prepared by the Barn Restaurant 3 days per week for those who need assistance during this challenging time. The meals will be available on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays starting March 20. Pick-up will be at the Church. The meals will be brought to you in your vehicle, so there’s no need to come indoors. If you are unable to pick up a meal, it can be delivered to your doorstep. To reserve a meal, call the Pawlet Community Church at 802-325-3022 from 10 AM to 12 PM on the day before (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) for pickup from 5 to 6 PM the next day. Menus will be posted on Monday each week on Facebook and Front Porch Forum.

Food Access in our Community: In collaboration with Middletown Springs, we have compiled a list of stores, restaurants, farms, and food pantries that are providing access to food and services in our region. You can see that list on the Town’s website. Please contact Sara Young at communityconnect.pawletpub@gmail.com if you have information to add. 

Transfer Stations

The Granville Transfer Station – Earth, Waste and Metal, will be open as usual. We ask the public to refrain from close contact while using the transfer station and from congregating at the transfer station.

Effective immediately, the Regional Transfer Station at 14 Gleason Road, Rutland will only accept the essential materials for disposal when absolutely necessary. This includes ONLY trash, recycling and food scraps. Consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order 01-20, the following materials will not be accepted:

  • Hazardous Waste (including, but not limited to: paint, batteries, mercury-containing bulbs/devices, motor oil and other auto fluids, pesticides, chemicals, etc.)
  • Scrap Metal, Electronics, Freon-containing appliances, Tires, Books, Clothing & Shoes and other donations
  • Other materials up to the attendant’s discretion

Additional requirements for facility use:

  • DO NOT ENTER if you have COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposure
  • MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCE– at least 6’ from other people
  • UNLOAD YOUR OWN WASTE– employees have been instructed to not handle waste
  • NO CONGREGATING– leave facility once unloaded
  • PROVIDE CHECKS OR EXACT CASH for payment

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate concerns associated with COVID-19.

Fuel Assistance 

To get confidential help locally from the Pawlet Community Church Fuel Assistance Fund, call Pawlet Town Clerk Deb Hawkins, 325-3309 or Pawlet Community Church, 325-3022. The winter cold continues, and our local fund meets emergency situations on the spot. Please send donations payable to “Pawlet Community Church Fuel Assistance Fund” to: Pawlet Fuel Assistance Fund, Attn: Tim Bryant, Treasurer, 337 Milaura Road, Pawlet, VT 05761.

Other Groups

Meetings and classes of Bone Builders, Thai Chi and Yoga have been suspended. The Selectboard encourages all other local groups to do the same, and to cancel or reschedule events and performances.


Statewide Restrictions and Regulations

For the most current changes in State guidance, you can visit Governor Phil Scott’s website www.governor.vermont.gov/press_releases, or the Vermont Emergency Management website www.vem.vermont.gov/covid19

Stay at Home, Stay Safe

Stay home except for essential needs like travel to work, to get food or going out for exercise. It is more important than ever to continue physical distancing when you leave home. Keep six feet between yourself and others when you are out. Your efforts are making a difference in slowing the spread of the virus.

New on healthvermont.gov

A new map of Vermonters who have tested positive for COVID-19 by town can now be found at healthvermont.gov/covid19 (click on the map of Vermont). The data reflects lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Vermont residents, by town of residence. All case data is preliminary and is updated as new information comes in.

New pages have been added and updated:

Meal Distribution to Vermonters

DATES HAVE BEEN UPDATED for the Vermont Foodbank and Vermont National Guard’s food distribution to those in need. Read the press release.

From 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. each day:

  • Wednesday, April 29 – Hartness State Airport (Weathersfield/Springfield)
  • Thursday, April 30 – William H Morse State Airport (Bennington)
  • Friday, May 1 – Northeast Kingdom International Airport (Coventry/Newport)

Accessing Emergency Care

Vermont hospitals are safe. If you are having symptoms of a serious medical condition, such as heart attack or stroke, it is important to get medical care right away. Call 9-1-1, go to the emergency room, or call your doctor if your symptoms are not life threatening.

Use Cleaning Products Safely

The Centers for Disease Control has reported that calls to U.S. poison centers about cleaner and disinfectant exposures have increased by 20%. Please make sure you are using cleaning products and disinfectants safely.

The EPA has issued guidance about disinfectant product use. Always follow the product’s directions. Do not ingest disinfectant products, and never apply them to yourself or others.

See the CDC’s Cleaning and Disinfection for Households guidance.

You can also chat with the Northern New England Poison Control Center on their website, call 1-800-222-1222 or text POISON to 85511.

Expedited Temporary Licenses for Health Professionals

Health professionals can quickly become temporarily licensed to provide care during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Volunteering

Please sign up to support the state’s COVID-19 response: https://vermont.gov/volunteer. Have medical supplies to donate? Visit the COVID-19 Donations site.

Schools

All Vermont schools are closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year and have put plans in place for remote learning. Child care programs also will remain closed, except for those that provide services to essential workers. The Health Department continues to work with partner agencies in supporting the health and wellness of children and their families during this time. https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19/schools-and-child-care-programs

Healthcare Workers’ Safety

The Vermont Department of Health has released new guidelines for people involved in healthcare, and for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who live with them. See www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-health-care-professionals for further details.

Business Closures and Restrictions – PHASED RESTART

Business operations deemed “essential” may continue to operate under pre-existing guidance with the addition of the mandatory health and safety requirements for all business operations above.

To safely reopen certain operations impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and not defined as essential, Governor Scott has directed the Agency of Commerce – in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety – to authorize, subject to mandatory health and safety requirements listed at https://accd.vermont.gov/news/update-new-work-safe-additions-stay-home-stay-safe-order

The office of Sen. Bernie Sanders assembled an excellent resource on What You Need to Know about the Federal Stimulus Package specifically for Vermonters and where to go to apply for support. To see an excerpt visit https://vermontbiz.com/news/2020/march/28/sanders-what-you-need-know-about-federal-stimulus-package

Travel Updates

In light of the significant risk posed by the further spread of this dangerous virus to Vermonters and the viability of Vermont’s health care system, this new order directs residents and non-residents coming from outside the state for anything other than an essential purpose to home-quarantine for 14 days and strongly discourages travel to Vermont by those located in COVID-19 “hot spots.” Details and exemptions are outlined in Addendum 7

The US/Canada border is closed to non-essential travel, and the Centers for Disease Control recommends deferring or cancelling cruise ship plans. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

Resources

Your home page for the State’s most current information and recommendations is at the Vermont Department of Health website, www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus. This website is updated at least every 24 hours in the early afternoon, but also posts important new information any time they receive it.

Individuals in need of specific support can contact VT 2-1-1 to speak with a representative who will work with you to determine your needs and connect you with the appropriate agency or service. www.vermont211.org/. You can call their alternate toll-free number at 1-866-652-4636 if you experience difficulty.

The Vermont Department of Public Service is maintaining an active list of known public wireless hotspots, so that you can stay connected with friends, family and news. In many cases, you can access those from your car in the parking lot, to reduce interpersonal contact. You can see this resource at www.publicservice.vermont.gov/announcements/public-wifi-hotspots-vermont

For those with ongoing health or mobility concerns, the Citizen Assistance Registry in case of an Emergency (CARE) to sign up for special focus during emergencies. This allows the 911 system to be prepared for special needs, but the information is not made public. www.vermont211.org/disaster-preparedness-temp-page

For broader public health information, you can visit any of the following trusted sources: