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Police visit lodging establishments to assess compliance with executive order

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WATERBURY, Vt. — Slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Vermont is necessary to help ensure the health care system has the capacity to care for Vermonters who experience the worst impacts of this highly contagious disease. Gov. Phil Scott has ordered critical strategies to help achieve this goal.

On March 25, 2020, Gov. Scott issued the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order, which required commercial lodging establishments to immediately begin to cease operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Saturday, March 28, the Vermont State Police and other law-enforcement agencies throughout Vermont were tasked with visiting hotels and motels to assess compliance with Gov. Scott’s executive order.

The order specifies that lodging establishments be closed except under limited circumstances, including:

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·       Housing vulnerable populations (emergency shelter for homeless individuals) as arranged through the state.

·       Providing accommodations for health care workers or other workers deemed necessary to support public health, public safety or critical infrastructure.

·       Use of lodging properties being as quarantine facilities as arranged by the state.

·       Limited verifiable extenuating circumstances for the care and safety of Vermonters.

The purpose of the visits was to evaluate compliance. The information will be used in consideration of any additional steps needed to help meet the goals of the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order. Law enforcement visited roughly 295 lodging establishments on Saturday, with about 20 sites remaining to be contacted. Efforts are continuing to visit the remaining locations.

More information on this and other COVID-19 topics is expected at the Governor’s media availability on Monday, March 30.

Further information is available in Gov. Scott’s order and in expanded guidance from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.