COVID-19

This page will be updated regularly with items related to the coronavirus pandemic:

Regular Selectboard meetings are being held every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 6pm via Zoom. Members of the public are able to join this meeting via Zoom as well. For information on how to join and the access link, please email tunbridge.adm.assist@gmail.com or call 802-889-5521.

Tunbridge Emergency Management Update

11/11/20 – Update from Brenda Field, Tunbridge Emergency Management Director (EMD) and Fire Warden:

New Restrictions

While Vermont continues to have the lowest positivity rate in the country, cases rose 46% this week. Hospitalizations are also rising in Vermont. Due to increased Covid numbers, including in our own Orange County, the Governor has put out the strictest Guidelines yet under Executive Orders. Details can be found at healthvermont.gov/covid19.

Multi-Family gatherings are now restricted to the unit you are with day-to-day. Social groups gathering, either indoors or outdoors, are not allowed except within the family units that we have now. Families and friends gathering in hunting camps or groups are asked not to do so. The goals continue to be able to keep kids in school, continue work and to stay safe as possible.

The cross-state travel map has been suspended, officials said. That means anyone traveling or returning to Vermont must quarantine for 14 days (or 7 days followed by a negative COVID-19 test) ─ no matter where they are coming from or traveling to. Essential travel is still exempt from quarantine rules, including for school, work, personal safety, medical care, care of others, parental shared custody, or for food, beverage or medicine.

This is not time to point fingers. It is again time to do the right thing to control this spread. We need to protect our health and infrastructure. Please heed the state cautions during the holiday season as the repercussions to us as a community, if we pass Covid around, are dire. Imagine, the fire department, ambulance or road crew not being able to get out to support our community if they need to quarantine for 14 days.

Unfortunately, it does appear that over 70% of new cases are being found within our informal small gatherings and larger gatherings. Covid has spread further than we suspected due in part to some sports gatherings, travel, Halloween parties and is now ever more present and among us. The decisions we make today will truly determine our future.

Transfer Station/Recycling Extended Hours

We know it is a hardship to wait in line and we are adding hours to try to mitigate that. The Selectboard and Mike Barnaby have decided to reopen the transfer station and recycling area on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 (note the hour change) until the first of the new year. The transfer station and recycling will continue to be open on Saturdays 9-3. You will need to wear a mask. If you cannot wear a mask, you will be asked to wait until the area is free of other folks, then you can come in by yourself.

Town Offices

We have also continued to work on setting up a few town employees to be able to work from home if contact with the public becomes a concern for any reason. We will do our best to get this info out to you if and when this change happens so you can make appointments or work arounds.

Get Your Flu Shot

It’s especially important for everyone to get their flu shot this year – flu viruses and the new coronavirus may be spreading at the same time. Help keep flu out of the picture! We encourage everyone older than 6 months old (with rare exceptions) — and especially people in a high-risk group or who have underlying health conditions — to get their flu vaccine. Learn more about the flu and find a flu shot: healthvermont.gov/disease-control/immunization

Take Care of Your Emotional Health

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs emotional support, help is available 24/7:

  • Call your local mental health crisis line.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
  • Text VT to 741741 to talk with someone at the Crisis Text Line.
  • For more information visit – healthvermont.gov/suicide.
  • Visit VT Helplink to get connected to Alcohol and Drug Support Services.

You can always reach out to me with questions or concerns. My phone number is 802-889-5548, if I don’t pick up, please leave a message with a call back number. My email is brendafield666@gmail.com.

Respectfully submitted,
Brenda Field
Tunbridge Emergency Management Director

Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map

The Vermont Department of Public Service has released an interactive Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map to help Vermonters connect to publicly available internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Vermonters do not have reliable internet access at home and will be searching for access elsewhere. Internet access is essential to online, remote learning and working from home. The map includes the location of the Wi-Fi hot spots and valuable information about how to access them, including places where users can access Wi-Fi from outside the building or in a parked vehicle to encourage social distancing and keep Vermonters healthy.

The Department received assistance from libraries, schools and municipal governments in creating the map, as well as support from the Agency of Digital Services, the Department of Libraries, the Agency of Commerce & Community Development, the Agency of Education, the Vermont Center for Geographic Information and the Department of Health. Follow this link to see the map.

The map is still missing many locations.  To fill in the gaps, we are seeking to crowdsource additional sites from the public.  These locations could include community centers, places of worship, recreation centers, downtown wi-fi zones, etc.  Please use the following form to enter information on sites in your community.

For more information, please contact psd.telecom@vermont.gov, but please enter all new sites via the form above.

Vermont Council on Rural Development Mutual Aid Toolkit
Across Vermont, community response teams and mutual aid organizations are rallying together to identify vulnerable neighbors and make sure they have the resources and support they need in this time of crisis. If you’re considering leading a crisis response effort in your town, check out this guide to mutual aid efforts. As you embark on this work, it can be helpful to establish some guiding principles. Here are a few to consider:

  • First do no harm – Everyone’s top priority must be slowing the spread of COVID-19, and all local efforts should adhere as best as possible to guidance provided by health experts.
  • Integration, not fragmentation – Coordinating local volunteer efforts with schools, social service agencies, municipalities, and other partners will achieve the greatest impact while building public confidence and minimizing confusion. Setting politics aside also helps to achieve unified action to serve all.
  • Strive for equity – Helping all Vermonters, and especially those who are marginalized, realize their potential means reaching across perceived boundaries and including under-represented voices at every juncture in our collective response.

7 Steps to Community Response & Mutual Aid link

Link to Vermont Council on Rural Development Compilation of Regional and Statewide Organizations 

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research center at the University of Washington. The link below will bring you to charts and curves showing “peak resource use” and other information for each state as well as for the entire country. There is a lot of information there. The projections assume the continuation of strong social distancing measures and other protective measures. It is sort of heavy information to take in at healthdata.org

The Vermont Department of Taxes continues to carefully monitor the evolving situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Department is working closely with the office of Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont legislature, following changes at the federal level, and adhering to guidance from the Vermont Department Health. Please see the Department’s information on relief for Vermont taxpayers at tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus. You should check this link periodically as the guidance may change. You may also follow the Vermont Department of Taxes on Facebook and Twitter.

The Tunbridge Town Office will be re-opening on Monday, June 29, 2020. Please wear a mask and sanitize your hands when entering the Town Office. At this time, two people at a time will be allowed to stand in the hallway. The bathroom will be available to the public.

Most business (including dump ticket sales, notarizing, certified copy orders, marriage licenses, dog licenses, tax bill requests and payments, etc.) will take place through the newly installed service windows from both offices into the main hallway. Access to the land records is still by appointment – to set one, contact the Town Clerk. See updated Town Officer hours below:

Treasurer (889-3571) – Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7:30-11:30 a.m.
Town Clerk (889-5521) – Mondays, noon-6 p.m. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Listers (889-3571) – Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

We encourage everyone to follow CDC and Department of Health hand-washing and social distancing recommendations.

Thank you for understanding that these are unusual times, requiring precautions for public safety and health.

Links for more coronavirus-related information:
Vermont Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control
Governor Scott’s Stay Home Executive Order