Covid 19

Update #3: New Phase for COVID-19

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Posted at 6:24 p.m.


As you probably know, last night, the Vermont Department of Health announced the second confirmed case of the coronavirus in Vermont, which is also the first confirmed case in Chittenden County. While I have been following events closely and preparing the City for the virus’s arrival for weeks, last night’s news signals that we are entering a new stage of our response to this global pandemic. I spent today working with our City’s emergency response team and leaders from the UVM Medical Center and local governments from around Vermont.

In this work, all of my decisions are being guided by three priorities: slowing the transmission of the virus within our community, continuing essential municipal services, and ensuring the safety and health of City employees and all Burlingtonians.

Around the country and abroad, governments dealing with coronavirus outbreaks are taking action such as cancelling events, closing schools, and encouraging employees to work from home. I want you to know that we are carefully considering all of these measures in close collaboration with our partners, and I expect that the State and City will have additional guidance and direction for Burlingtonians very soon.

For now, I want to share with you our response to this illness so far. Experts are advising that slowing the spread of the virus – or “flattening the curve” ( – is essential so that our health care providers will be able to treat everyone who may need services. With that in mind, here are some steps that the City has already taken:

  • We have opened the City’s Emergency Operations Center at the Burlington Police Department in order to coordinate all of the City’s actions in our response. As a result, public access to the BPD building beyond the entrance window in the lobby will be restricted until further notice.
  • We have established a local 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 have developed a COVID-19 Response Plan to guide the City’s thinking and actions over the days and weeks ahead, which is shaped by the three priorities I’ve identified above.
  • As an employer, we will be using Monday, March 16 to test our Work From Home Plan, during which we will continue all City services but employees who are able to perform their work from home will do so. The goal of this measure is social distancing, and having fewer people in our workplaces in order to lessen the spread of any contagious illnesses.
  • If you are sick, we are asking you not to enter any City buildings and indeed, to please stay home if you are able to in order to help protect the health of our broader community.

At this time, protective measures like washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available, avoiding touching your face, and cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces also remain essential. The Vermont Department of Health has created a fact sheet with these tips that is translated into 10 languages, which is available to download on the City website: We also have posted this fact sheet in all languages at City buildings.

During this challenging and unusual time, let us continue to take care of ourselves and each other. Our response to the coronavirus will have to be a collective one. We all have a part to play in slowing the spread of the virus, thereby protecting the most vulnerable members of our community and supporting our health care workers and system.

I will continue to be in contact as this evolves.

- Miro

Read Mayor Weinberger’s previous updates about the coronavirus, and find additional information, on the City website at this link: