Covid 19

Update #46: This week in the City's response to COVID-19

Friday, May 15, 2020

Here are a few of the updates from this week in our response to COVID-19:

> Thanks to everyone's collective actions, we have flattened the curve of the first wave of COVID-19 infections in our community. So what's next? This past week, Mayor Weinberger hosted a Telephone Town Hall to talk about what's ahead. The Mayor was joined by two leading national and local experts -- Dr. Joshua Sharfstein of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Dr. Stephen Leffler of The University of Vermont Medical Center. The three discussed the current landscape of COVID-19 in Chittenden County, what restarting might look like, going from "flatten the curve" to "box it in," and more. They also responded to questions from Burlingtonians. Watch or listen to the recording of the conversation on the City website:

> We've now produced and distributed more than 20,000 masks through the BTV Community Mask Initiative! On Friday, we crossed that threshold with a delivery of masks to the Burlington Housing Authority. Thank you to the amazing community partners and volunteer sewers who have been part of this effort. This was our last week of widespread mask distribution at grocery stores and other locations. Going forward, these high-quality, reusable, and free masks will continue to be available for Burlingtonians who still need one at select times at our Fletcher Free Library and Burlington Police Department. Check the City website for the latest information:

> This weekend, we are reopening basketball courts in the city -- along with signage that makes it clear that only "no contact play" is allowed. We're also piloting an attendants program this weekend, and will have attendants stationed at our most popular basketball courts from 1:00-6:00 pm to remind people about no contact play. Enjoy the basketball courts, play responsibly, and stay safe!

> Burlingtonians can now apply to defer their June property tax and business personal property tax payments. If you are experiencing unexpected economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, this deferment will give you two additional months of time, without any interest or penalties, until your payments are due on August 12. Learn more about eligibility and apply on the City website: Applications are due June 1. We will be looking at the number of people who apply to help us determine our next steps beyond June. Property owners who have tenants will have to agree to certain terms and conditions – including not to charge penalties or interest on late rent, not evicting tenants, informing tenants in writing of the new status, and being listed on a publicly available database – in order to seek deferment.

> We're excited to announce a new initiative and volunteer opportunity: Plant for the People. With this initiative, the City is encouraging all Burlingtonians to consider donating surplus fruits and vegetables from your harvest this season -- or even consider expanding your gardens and planting more now so that you can help produce more fresh, local food. Our goal is ambitious: We want to try to collect 100,000 pounds of additional produce as a community this growing season, to help meet the increased need of our local food shelf Feeding Chittenden. The City will be supporting this call to action with a multi-pronged initiative that includes helping you expand your fruit and vegetable gardens by distributing free starts at select locations (in partnership with Red Wagon Plants) and, later in the season, playing a distribution role and collecting produce that we will then deliver to our local food shelf -- Feeding Chittenden. Learn more about this new initiative on the City website:

Continue to follow the latest local updates on the City website: