Covid 19

Update #76: Calling on Burlingtonians to exercise extra caution this weekend

November 6, 2020


This week, we saw a wave of new Covid-19 case growth here in Chittenden County, with our seven-day average rising to 12.9 cases per day. To put this in perspective, this means that on Vermont’s own travel map, our county would be labeled “red” if we were in another state. What this says to me, very clearly, is that we are in one of the highest-risk moments we’ve been in since the start of the pandemic in March.

Over the past eight months, our community has come together, made sacrifices, followed public health guidance, and assessed risk – and it’s worked. We have seen some of the lowest levels of Covid-19 anywhere in the country. We have saved lives. We also have been able to re-open some of the most important parts of our society, like our public schools.

Now, we need to double down. There is an elevated risk in our city and county right now, and this weekend is the time when we can bring it back down. I am calling on everyone to exercise extra caution this weekend and until the number of new cases per day drops again.

Here are my specific asks for Burlington:
•    First, be particularly cautious this weekend. Keep your gatherings very small. Stay outdoors. Wear face coverings and keep your distance from people not in your household.
•    Second, if you have traveled out of state recently, it is critical that you follow the Governor’s quarantine orders.
•    Third, if you went to a Halloween party or any large gathering, or if you participated in any other higher-risk activity over the last week, please consider quarantining and getting tested in the coming days.
•    Fourth, if you are an employer and it’s possible for any of your workforce to work remotely, please consider returning to a remote posture and keeping as many people at home as you can for the time being.

Governor Scott and Commissioner Levine announced on Friday that the State is seeing transmission occurring at private gatherings, like groups of friends and family at homes. The State now is strongly advising that Vermonters limit gatherings in general.

I want to remind everyone that here in Burlington, since August and in coordination with the State, we have had a limit on group sizes in residential areas of 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors. On Monday, I will be asking the City Council to extend this order to March, which will take us through the holiday season and the core of the winter. I also want to remind everyone that, as we experience this period of elevated risk, the City has many other resources and initiatives that are here to help at moments like this. Learn more about these resources on the City website at:

As we head into winter and experience a period of increased risk, I’m also organizing another Telephone Town Hall Meeting for Burlingtonians to discuss the next stage of this pandemic. Please join me on Tuesday, November 10 at 5:30 pm for a conversation with Vermont Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine and UVM Medical Center President and COO Dr. Stephen Leffler about how to assess risk, what you should keep in mind as you’re making holiday plans, and more. We’ll also take as many questions as we can from callers. Find the full details and RSVP on the event page:

We have achieved so much as a community in our response to this virus over the last eight months. Now, let us use all that we’ve learned to bring the numbers of new cases back down.


View this update in video format below. Thanks to CCTV Channel 17, these briefings also are available to watch on Channel 317 and the Town Meeting TV YouTube page.

Find all of the Mayor's COVID-19 updates on the City website: