Covid 19

Update #2: Ongoing Preparations for COVID-19

Tuesday, March 10

Posted at 2:25 p.m.


I’d like to share another update about how the City is preparing for the possibility of an outbreak of the coronavirus here in Burlington. (You can find all of my updates, and other information about COVID-19, here). Over the last several weeks, the City has taken a number of steps to both 1) be prepared to coordinate and communicate among key partners in Burlington and 2) ensure the health of our employees and the continuity of critical operations of City government. Currently, there is only one confirmed case of the coronavirus in Vermont, and no cases here in Burlington. If the need arises, however, the City is taking steps to be as prepared as possible.

These actions include:

  • We have established a coordination group made up of external partners across Burlington as well as City leadership, including those who are responsible for the critical services of electricity, water, and emergency response. We expect this group to meet at least once a week for as long as necessary to share information and facilitate a Burlington response if need be.
  • We are taking proactive steps to ensure that all Burlington organizations who work with seniors – the population that appears to be most at risk – have all the information and resources that they need to properly respond to a local outbreak.
  • Internally, we have developed a COVID-19 Response Plan to guide the City’s thinking and actions over the weeks and months ahead, which is focused on protecting City employees, minimizing the transmission of the virus within the City, and providing for the Continuity of Operations across the City’s essential municipal services.

By being prepared, we will be ready to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and other illnesses, protect vulnerable populations, and limit everyone’s exposure. As part of all of this work, we are identifying what levers are available to us to and when the right time is to pull them.

We are undertaking these and other measures while following the guidance of the professionals at the Vermont Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control. We expect the Vermont Department of Health to continue to lead efforts to update the public and issue new guidance, and we will also continue to communicate directly with the public.

At this time, those agencies’ guidelines for individuals emphasize the steps of thorough handwashing, staying home when you are sick, and cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces. We have links to both of those agencies’ informational resources, which are thorough and up-to-date, on the City’s website: The Vermont Department of Health also has tips about how to keep illness from spreading available in Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, English, French, Kirundi, Nepali, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, and Vietnamese.

Going forward, I will continue to be in touch as needed through Front Porch Forum, the City’s website (, and social media pages as anything changes. I also encourage everyone to sign up for VT-Alert to receive the City’s urgent alerts by phone, email, and text.

- Miro