January 19, 2021

HSD Covid Update


Hello Hartford!

Thank you for working so hard to make the first quarter of the year successful. Whether you are a student, a parent, a teacher or staff member, we appreciate it. As you most likely have heard Vermont is seeing a surge in new COVID-19 cases. Recent data has shown that social gatherings, both inside and outside, at homes, bars and social clubs, and among sports teams are currently driving outbreaks in Vermont.

Due to this surge, the most recent guidance from the Governor's Office says Vermonters are not allowed to gather with people they don’t live with. This guidance includes inside and outside social, recreational and entertainment gatherings, whether in public or private spaces. This means you cannot go over to a family member or friend’s house or go to a restaurant with someone you don’t live with. This also means that visitors to Vermont can only socialize with the people they are traveling with. They cannot gather with Vermonters or with people from another traveling group.

However, people who live alone in Vermont may gather with people who live in one other household. People can take in and shelter those from another household who are living in a dangerous, unhealthy or otherwise unsafe situation. Schools are now required to consider these limits on social gatherings as an extension of the state's travel restrictions and guidance. Schools may now ask as part of the daily health screenings if the student has engaged in multi-family social gatherings and, if so, require quarantine. 

The guidance also says you can do outdoor fitness activities with one other person from another household. However, you must stay at least 6 feet away from each other and wear a mask at all times. You can continue to bike, hike, walk or run with one of your neighbors.

We must all do our part to slow the spread, ensure hospitals are not overwhelmed, help schools continue to offer in-person instruction, and keep as many Vermonters working as possible.

Vermont data at this time does not point to dining at restaurants, gyms, or other close contact businesses as drivers of outbreaks, and current safety protocols at these businesses are working.

I know this is difficult, but hope that as Vermonters follow this guidance we can return to the small case numbers we had, and ease some of these restrictions again.

Here is Governor Scott’s  Executive Order, in case you want to read it for yourself. Additionally, HERE, is the most recent Agency of Education Guidance on Multi-Household Gatherings.

Thank you for your attention to this important information. I do hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tom DeBalsi

Superintendent of Schools