Burlington, VT — Health officials have announced that starting on Monday, March 14, the COVID-19 public health recommendations have been updated. Previously, guidance recommended wearing a mask in all indoor public spaces, but the new guidance recommends Vermonters to consider their circumstances and risk in deciding what precautions to take, including wearing a mask around others.

Those who have tested positive should isolate for five days, regardless of vaccination status or whether they are symptomatic and no longer need a negative test to end isolation or need to wear a mask for an additional five days after isolation.

Those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive are no longer required to quarantine, however, if they are not vaccinated or up-to-date with vaccines, they should get tested five days after contact. Anyone who has been in close contact should get tested if they develop symptoms, regardless of vaccination status.

“As we continue moving forward and evolving our management of this virus, it’s important to reflect on the progress we’ve made, and how much Vermonters have stepped up over the last two years,” said Governor Phil Scott. “Although COVID isn’t going away, we’re in a much different place than we were not too long ago, and we know how to protect ourselves. Vaccination remains the best tool in our toolbox to protect yourself and others, and we continue to encourage anyone who hasn’t to get vaccinated and boosted.”

“The COVID-19 virus will be with us for a long time, but the data tells us we have arrived at a point where people can decide for themselves if they want to take precautions based on their level of risk,” Dr. Levine said. “If we have learned anything about COVID-19 over these past two years, it is that the virus is good at evolving. With many surges and new variants, nearly all of us have been affected in some way, and too many have suffered a serious illness and tragic losses. I am hopeful we are finally coming to the end of the pandemic, but that will only be the case if people are thoughtful about their safety and activities – and stay up to date on vaccinations.”

The changes do not apply to health care settings or other congregate settings that follow separate guidance. For more information and tools on how to protect yourselves and others from getting or spreading the virus, click here.