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

7/27/20 – Update from Brenda Field, Tunbridge Emergency Management Director (EMD) and Fire Warden:

Opening the School

There is a community-wide effort to work with the TCSchool to open safely. Part of the plan includes outdoor classes for as long as the weather allows. Being outdoors is one of the safest places to control Covid spread. Part of the plan is to construct outdoor shelters for classes. Please contact me if you want to join in to build these shelters. Once I hear from you, I will connect you up with others working on this. As part of this work, we will need some “sit stumps” for the kids. We need over 100. Do you or can you add to our stash of stumps? Hardwood please, not pine. (Ash is great). Please cut about 14″ to 18″ tall and min of 10″ in diameter. My own goal is cutting 10 stumps and getting them a marked place at the town garage (we are working on just where). I will find out about a drop off spot and announce it.

Recreation Field Safety Guidelines

The Tunbridge Selectboard and I have been working on our guidelines for use of the Recreation Field. There have been some recent instances of use of the field that were not in keeping with the state guidelines. While we finalize our own town guidelines, we ask that all who use the rec field continue to follow the state’s well publicized guidelines. Go to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Updated guidelines are published here. 9.1 Sports/Organized Sports including Youth leagues. Practices, Games, and Tournaments (effective 6/15 and updated July 10th)Until the Pandemic is brought under control, we ask that all people in our town, especially those using public property, engage in safe behaviors until we have the long awaited vaccine. Unfortunately, this is a year when we need to hunker down to keep our community, state and country safe.

Internet Hot Spots

We have installed another internet “Hot Spot” at our school this week. This gives us more options for opening TCS school safely. We expect this Hot Spot to extend our capabilities for communications if we have an emergency at or near the school plus a free service to the public. As you may have read, there is a new internet Hot Spot at the town offices. You can sit in your car and link to the internet. Feel free to use it! It looks like the hot spot now extends to the top of the cemetery. To make these hot spots happen, I am working with the State of Vermont Rural Broadband program that supports rural communities in increasing broadband service. We are so grateful for their support.

Staying Safe

We appreciate how many people in our town are working together and cooperating to keep us safe. As you may have read, Governor Scott has expanded the mask mandate in public beginning August 1st. The governor stated “…looking at the situation in the South and the West, and knowing we’ll have more people coming to Vermont, and more Vermonters inside as the weather gets colder, we need to be sure we are protecting the gains we’ve made.” Starting Aug 1, masks will be required of anyone over the age of 2, unless that person has a physical or developmental disability.

Governor Scott had some further words of wisdom for all of us “To those of you already wearing masks, that are concerned about those who aren’t: I ask you to give them the benefit of the doubt. Attacking, shaming, and judging isn’t going to help, but understanding, educating, meeting people where they are, and maybe using a little kindness and understanding might….let’s do things the Vermont way by being role models and leading by example.”

I also want to thank a couple of volunteers for leading by example. One is Jennifer Hayslett for helping me with all these posts. The other is Simon Bradford who has been there for whatever advice and wiring support we have needed.

There are more, but these two have been so key to helping me manage this work to help keep us all communicating during this important time.

Our town is so lucky to have all these talented folks. Please thank them when you see them!!

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