A Message From Superintendent Tracy Wrend and Director of Nursing Services Jordan Myerson

As February break begins, we want to remind all of expectations, strategies and supports for staying safe.

What Families Need to Know

•   Staying home and with people in your household is still the lowest risk.

•   Gathering with people you do not live with is not recommended

•   The Health Department strongly advises against non-essential travel, even within Vermont. All leisure travel to and from Vermont requires quarantine. If you had COVID-19 or received a positive antibody test, you still must quarantine when you travel or return to Vermont under the current travel guidelines.  Those who have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and have allowed two weeks to pass, do not have to quarantine after travel. 

Prevention is the Key
To slow the spread of COVID-19 in Vermont, and to preserve in-person learning, this means that you are not allowed to gather with people you don’t live with under the current Vermont social gathering guidelines.

Which includes, but is not limited to, not participating in:

  • sleepovers;
  • indoor play dates; and
  • going to restaurants with non-household members.

Plan to Stay Safe
Our individual choices can have a large impact on the health of our community in this pandemic. Last March, when schools and the economy shut down, we did not have choices about where we could go. Now we have more options, but making these decisions will affect others. All Vermonters should continue to follow this basic guidance:

•   When you go out to run errands, visit a trail, or something else, a quick and easy way to measure the risk is to look for these three things:

1. masks on faces;

2. six-foot spaces; and

3. uncrowded places.

*If any of these things are missing, come back another time.

•   If you’re sick, stay home.

•   Get tested if you have: any symptoms (even mild ones), been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, traveled, or attended a social gathering.

•   Get your flu shot.

Manage Your Family’s Risk
Many families have been following the Vermont Department of Health’s guidance, and it’s great to share appreciation for your friends’ and neighbors’ sacrifices at this time. However, some will choose to travel and some will attend gatherings, and will need information about what to do next. It’s best to share this without shame or judgment — what’s important is protecting one another.

•   If you gather with another household, get tested as soon as 2 days after the gathering and then again 7 days following the gathering. Find out where to get tested here.

•   Quarantine. If your household traveled or gathered with anyone from out of state, everyone in both households must quarantine for 14 days, or 7 days with a negative test as long as they do not experience symptoms.  Quarantine means staying home and away from others. Do not go to work or bring kids to child care or go out to do errands or recreation. This helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before a person knows they are sick, or if they are infected with the virus and don’t have symptoms.

When to Say Yes

  • Express gratitude and give back to your community. Find a service project for the family to do together. Check with a local food bank, or the United Way for ideas.
  • Practice Random Acts of Kindness – shovel a neighbor’s driveway, deliver food, books, and games to families in quarantine.
  • Organize a virtual book, game, or movie club.
  • Go outside and play in the snow. Take a walk, hike, or go sledding.
  • Plan a winter scavenger hunt and search for different types of trees, wildlife, or stars (it gets dark early!).

Vermont is currently still in a State of Emergency. It is hard to balance our risk of getting sick and our human need for in-person connection, especially as these conditions continue. It’s been a long pandemic, and people are craving normalcy.  Please continue to have compassion for people during this challenging time, and have a safe and healthy winter break.

Tracy & Jordan

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