March 6 Update on the COVID-19 Coronavirus

06 Mar 2020

FRIDAY, MARCH 6

The Vermont Department of Health ( opens in a new windowVT DOH) issued an advisory that as of March 4, following guidance from the CDC, travelers returning from China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran should stay home and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the United States. Travelers returning from Japan should monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the United States. This is not retroactive. Those who returned prior to this advisory should continue self-monitoring. The reason for this is thta travelers returning home today, as opposed to last weekend, had more opportunity for community exposure. The VT DOH requirest that all who have traveled to areas where there have been COVID-19 outbreaks contact the VT DOH directly and closely monitor themselves for fever and other symptoms. The Health Department’s phone number is 802-863-7240.

The college’s Incident Response Team met again this week to review action items from last week and discuss scenario planning for the future should the coronavirus enter the area. Please be advised that the college does have an opens in a new windowEmergency Action Plan already in place, which we will use in response to this evolving situation. Guidance about hygiene continues to be important, so please reference below for recommendations about best practices.

We will continue to update this webpage as news is available to keep our community current.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28

While there is growing concern about coronavirus COVID-19, please be assured that the Vermont Department of Health is closely monitoring the development of the virus. As of February 28, there were no cases of COVID-19 in Vermont.

To be best prepared, we are asking the following:

  • If you (student, faculty, staff) traveled oversees during the last 30 days we are asking that you email our Coordinator of Health Services Bob Sivret with information on where you traveled to and when.
  • If you are experiencing any Flu-like symptoms, we are asking that you email our Coordinator of Health Services Bob Sivret to track wellness in our community.  If you live on campus, we will provide you with an alternative housing option.
  • If you have a confirmed case of coronavirus COVID-19, please do not come to campus until your primary care physician clears you. We will work with you to make up work.

As a reminder about good hygiene practices, here are recommendations from the Center for Disease Control:

  • People who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness should stay home and not come to work or school until they are free of fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater) and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines. Staff and faculty are asked to notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Practice cough and sneeze etiquette and good hand hygiene.
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces.

For your information, here is the opens in a new windowguidance Vermont Department of Health has issued for colleges.

Please know that we are working now to make available hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes throughout our campuses. Sodexo will place hand sanitizer at the end of every line in the dining hall in Randolph Center. You are strongly encouraged to wash your hands before eating and using hand sanitizer after using utensils in the food lines. We will display the “COVID-19 Stop the Spread of Germs” posters around our campuses as reminders of best practices too.

Vermont Tech’s Incident Response Team, in collaboration with other VSC institutions, is working to develop plans so that we are prepared should coronavirus cases be confirmed in Vermont.