Coronavirus Updates April 21 2020

The path to restart Vermont

At a press conference on Monday, Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, said that as the state continues its work to protect the health of Vermonters, and begins measured steps to restart Vermont’s economy, we will continue to keep our eyes on the growing body of data to inform our decision-making.

Governor Phil Scott and Dr. Levine emphasized that the public’s cooperation and support in following guidance for preventing the spread of germs is both saving lives and essential for Vermont to move toward recovery.

Steps forward will be informed by careful analysis of the growing body of case data and knowledge about the virus itself, as well as measurements of social distancing, mask wearing, and mobility, and ongoing review of how businesses are able to provide a safe environment for employees and customers.

The Vermont Department of Health is focused even more on expanding an aggressive testing strategy and maintaining supplies, as well as sustaining contact tracing capacity to prevent the virus’s spread and keep long-term care facilities as safe as possible.

A new addendum to Gov. Phil Scott’s executive order was announced Friday, April 17:

  • Allows small crews for outside construction or other outdoor trade jobs, and single-worker low- or no-contact professional services
  • Clarifies guidance for retailers to allow additional operations using delivery and curbside service
  • Outlines safety requirements for these entities and others already operating to ensure continued social distancing, hygiene and disinfection

Laura Siegel, secretary of Vermont Association of the Deaf was interviewed via VPR on April 20th at 2:30pm, EST. A transcript will be made available within the week. Stay tuned.

Template Letter Coronavirus

Copy and paste this letter below or your own usage. We have some contact information listed below this letter. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email VTAD directly by emailing us ( or calling us via VP (802-858-2323).

The Vermont Deaf community watched your announcement on [Date] about
the coronavirus (COVID-19) but were unable to understand it because you failed to do
some or not all of the following: not having American Sign Language (ASL) access
100%, not providing good quality or available captioning and not allowing the interpreter
to be visible for the entire duration of the press conference. Please review best
practices for effective communication at emergency press briefings. Information
shared about this serious disease outbreak must be made accessible at the time of the
release, not afterwards. Failing to make this information available in ASL means that
deaf people are not getting the same important information about health and safety.

We are including a petition with over 375 signatures of angry/concerned Vermonters and
their supporters as well as a file containing video sequences of the concerns we saw
LIVE during the conference. We demand that you provide ASL and captioning to ALL
news and announcements involving COVID-19 messaging. This is not only the right thing
to do but is also required by federal law, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act
and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Like everyone else, we are concerned about this outbreak but often are the last to know
or have no access. Please include qualified ASL interpreters and captioning in any video
updates about COVID-19.
Thank you,

CSPAN:  or     (202) 737-322 (main office)  or for captioning issues:    or   (p) 765-464-3019

WCAX:    or    802-652-6300

FCC:    or   (844) 432-2275   (ASL direct support line)

FOX 22/44:    or     802-660-9333