Thousands of Vermonters can return to work this week under new guidelines

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Under Gov. Phil Scott’s phased approach to reopening Vermont, construction crews of 10 or fewer people can return to outside and unoccupied work sites Monday, up from five or fewer workers announced two weeks ago.

Scott also raised to 10 the maxiumum number of employees in manufacturing and distribution operations at any one time; the workers must stay six feet apart.

“We focus on sectors like manufacturing and construction, that have controlled environments, open space, and are custom to following rules that provide for safe work sites,” Scott said at a Friday news briefing.

In Vermont, 52 people have died and 897 have tested positive. But the trendline in new cases declined significantly in April. Officials announced last week that they would expand testing from about 2,000 people per week to 7,500.

The new guidelines announced last week require all workers be pre-screened, including temperature checks, and complete health surveys when they report for work. Employers must also post signs at every entrance telling employees that if they fel sick, they should stay home.

“I urge all Vermont businesses to take the restart plan seriously and put employee’s safety first,” Bill Shouldice, president and CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear, said. “The goal is to start these businesses with a minimal number of people necessary economically and safely operate.”

Scott said he is considering loosening restrictions related to family connections and outdoor recreation.

For a full list of health and safety requirements for all businesses click here

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