Covid 19

Joint "Box It In" Plan for June 1

Joint plan among the City of Burlington, the University of Vermont, Champlain College, and the State of Vermont for suppressing & containing potential coronavirus infections resulting from the return of out-of-state students

May 27, 2020

The City of Burlington, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH), University of Vermont (UVM), and Champlain College welcome back to Burlington students returning from out of state both in the Fall and in June, as leases turn over. To facilitate a safe return for the students and the community, these entities are collaborating on a series of measures outlined below:

VDH is supplementing UVM’s existing on campus testing capacity thanks to the support of the Vermont National Guard. The Guard will set up an outdoor testing facility centrally on UVM’s campus in early June (likely beginning June 7) and returning UVM and Champlain students – and Burlington residents – will be able to access testing at this location. UVM students will also be able to access testing resources via UVM Student Health facilities.

Should a student test positive for COVID, the State and higher education institutions will work together to safely isolate that individual at a state isolation facility, away from their residence.

All positive tests from this effort will immediately be followed up on by VDH’s Epidemiology team.  In concert with other State agencies, VDH has dramatically increased contact tracing capacity within the State of Vermont, with sufficient trained staff to monitor over new 500 cases a week, if need be, and additional staff able to track a comparable number of cases ready in reserve.

Supportive Quarantine

The Governor has ordered that all people entering Vermont and remaining overnight must quarantine for a 14 day period. The City, Champlain College and UVM will work to support the Governor’s direction during this public health crisis.

The State has published a web page with guidance for people entering Vermont, including returning students. This guidance includes registering for the SARA alerts system to track daily symptoms during the 14 day quarantine period.

In addition, the City is leading an effort to provide Supportive Quarantine services to any returning students and other residents who are directed to quarantine. Quarantined students and residents can sign-up for this voluntary program via the City’s website.  

Students entering Vermont from out of state, and any resident who is asked to quarantine by State contact tracers, will be asked to sign a pledge attesting that they will quarantine consistently with State guidance to protect the health and safety of our community.

The Supportive Quarantine will include:

    • A daily check in call from a City representative to see if the quarantined individual has immediate needs (i.e., picking up a medical prescription, grocery shortage, unemployment insurance benefits, etc.). These calls also serve to connect a student or resident with a volunteer network that can assist with, for example, curbside drop-off of needed supplies when friends or family are unable to assist.
    • A move-in care package that includes groceries, a mask, hygiene supplies, and a Fletcher Free Library card to get access to the Library’s substantial collection of online services.
    • Support accessing available testing services.
    • If a student certifies a commitment to continued compliance on Day 4, the City will provide a gift card to a local restaurant offering delivery options.

Community Policing
Since 2012 the City and UVM have had a partnership whereby UVM pays for supplemental Burlington Police Department patrols of neighborhoods with high concentrations of off campus students, focused on noise and quality of life. During the month of June, the BPD will conduct these supplementary patrols, funded by UVM, with the goal of enforcing the Governor’s Stay Safe, Stay Home orders, including limiting gatherings to ten people.

The City will proactively use its rental registration database to impress upon property owners the gravity of the situation and enlist their assistance in urging tenants’ compliance with the Governor’s health orders during this unprecedented time.

UVM and Champlain College are communicating regularly with their student bodies regarding the State orders in place, the importance of following the Governor’s quarantine order for people entering Vermont from out of state, the importance of these measures for community health, and the risks of failing to comply.