VDH COVID-19 Update: $12M for child care, fall sports coming back

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VDH COVID-19 Update: $12M for child care, fall sports coming back

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 5:42pm -- tim

COVID-19 case counts fell last week in all four regions across the nation.

Daily Update on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

August 7, 2020

New information is in red and bold.

This update is available online at healthvermont.gov/covid19

Click the “See the Latest Update” button.

Please visit the Vermont Department of Health’s COVID-19 web and data pages
healthvermont.gov/covid19

Financial Assistance for Child Care Providers

Saying that good quality child care is critical for Vermont, giving kids a strong foundation for their future, and supporting working families, Governor Phil Scott on Friday announced the launch of a new grant program to help mitigate operational expenses and losses for child care providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Operational Relief Grant (ORG) program includes $12 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funding to help child care programs offset pandemic-related expenses and losses. Grant applications are open now through August 26.

“We are so grateful to the child care workers and programs who have stepped up to provide critical services to children and their families throughout this crisis,” said Governor Scott. “These grant funds will help programs recover and continue expanding the availability of early care and learning for Vermont families.”

For more information about the grant program, visit www.dcf.vermont.gov/covid19-relief-grants.

Testing Reaches Milestone

Governor Scott announced that Vermont has now tested more than 100,000 people for the COVID-19 virus. Of those, 1,448 have tested positive.

“Testing and contact tracing have been critical to our reopening strategy and our ongoing ability to detect and contain outbreaks,” said Gov. Scott.

Acknowledging the complex efforts to conduct the state’s widespread testing program, the Governor thanked the teams at the state’s public health laboratory and Health Department staff, as well as the Vermont National Guard, state employees and EMS workers who have stood up and managed the pop-up test sites.

Gov. Scott said that as other states continue to see surges and long testing turnaround times from overwhelmed national labs, Vermont is focused on maintaining and building our testing capacity “so that we’re always ready to contain outbreaks and protect our most vulnerable.”

Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD echoed the tribute to the Health teams, and noted that while testing is an important tool, he credited the state’s low case rate to the ongoing efforts by Vermonters to stay safe and healthy.

“(You) did that by staying home whenever possible, wearing masks out in public, and following other prevention steps to stay healthy,” Dr. Levine said. “It’s not been easy. I know that for many, “caution fatigue” is setting in. And it’s hard to keep the regimen of precautions and handwashing going. But we need to keep it up – because it’s working.”

Dr. Levine emphasized that the key “keep Vermont healthy and open” is harm reduction and risk reduction. Noting that most activities have some risk, -- with some riskier than others, Dr. Levine urged everyone to think about their choices and the potential health risk to ourselves and the people we with whom we may interact. He also urged everyone to continue to take precautions like mask wearing, to prevent the spread of the virus.

People are also encouraged to understand when testing is not needed. You do not need to be tested unless you have reason to believe you’ve been in close contact with some who has the virus, or you have symptoms of COVID, or have increased medical risk.

Fall Sports Preview

Gov. Scott also said on Friday that his administration is working with the Vermont Principals Association (VPA), the Superintendents Association, school athletic directors and coaches in planning for the start of fall sports “in some fashion.”

Sports, including cross-country running, soccer, field hockey, football, cheerleading, volleyball, bass fishing and golf will begin as part of the school year

One idea floated for football would result in seven-on-seven games with passing only.

The VPA will be providing details over the coming weeks, but, Gov. Scott cautioned, students coaches and parents should prepare themselves for a very different year

“Things will look different… especially when it comes to high contact sports, the Governor said. “This won’t be a normal season, but our goal is to offer a path forward for each of these sports. To give our kids some sense of normalcy in abnormal times.”

Children and Masks

Halloween is one thing, but when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19 among children, masks are serious business, and one size does not fit all.

Face coverings should be worn in settings where children and adults cannot keep a distance of 6 feet between themselves and others. This includes childcare settings, summer camps and schools.

The Health Department has a two-page fact sheet that gives people the information they need about the use of masks to help protect children.

Keeping a 6-foot distance can be hard for kids used to running around and playing with each other. In settings where distancing is a challenge, children ages 2 and older should wear a mask. Make sure the mask size is the right fit and teach kids how to safely put on and remove the mask, as well as instruct them on proper hand washing to stop the spread of germs.

Children under the age of 2 should not wear a mask, because it may present a choking hazard, and the youngsters may not be able to communicate that they are having trouble breathing. The unique needs of each child are also a factor. Children who have medical (such as asthma) or developmental reasons for not wearing a face covering, should not be required to do so.

Review our Face Coverings for Children fact sheet for more information, including safety tips about what masks are appropriate and advice for helping children adapt to mask use.

Case Information

Current COVID-19 Activity in Vermont

As of 12 p.m. on August 7, 2020

Description

 

Number

 

Total cases*

 

1,448

(2 new)

 

Currently hospitalized

 

1

 

Hospitalized under investigation

 

5

 

Total people recovered

 

1,260

 

Deaths+

 

58

 

People tested

 

100,962

 

Travelers monitored

 

1,004

 

Contacts monitored

 

30

 

People completed monitoring

 

5,824

 

* 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: healthvermont.gov/currentactivity

Getting Tested for COVID-19

Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19. Use CDC’s Self-Checker tool to find out if you should be tested.

If you think you may need to get tested, talk with your health care provider, or call 2-1-1 if you don’t have a provider and need to be connected to care.

If you do need testing, look for a clinic or pharmacy that offers testing near you, or register at a pop-up location.

See how to get tested and to make an appointment.

Guidance for Vermonters

If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the hospital.

If you are having even mild symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider.

Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet and wear a mask when near others.

Get the information you need at our Frequently Asked Questions.

  • New question added: Can I travel to Canada?

New on healthvermont.gov

This week’s Weekly Summary of Vermont COVID-19 Data has been posted, with a spotlight on how long-term care facilities have been impacted and what has been done to support them.

In the first two weeks of April, the Health Department conducted comprehensive assessments with 36 nursing homes and 14 assisted living residences to assess and improve their preparedness for responding to COVID-19.

Traveler Information

Stay up to date on guidance, recommendations and requirements associated with travel to Vermont.  

The graph below indicates how non-quarantine regions fell as economies in the region opened-up. However, regional and national data for active case counts have gotten better over the last week.

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:

Get self-help tips and connect to mental health services at COVID Support VT.

See ways for Coping with Stress

For more information: