Coronavirus Information

Pandemic Information, Social and Economic Resources, and Office Updates

Coronavirus 2019 Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s:

  1. Is it true that children aren’t really in danger from COVID-19?
    1. It’s true that children tend to be asymptomatic or have mild disease symptoms compared to adults who have COVID-19.  However, there is a very small risk of severe disease.
    2. Fewer children get infected with coronavirus 2019 than adults.  The reason is unknown.
    3. *** In children ages 0-15 years who are SYMPTOMATIC, 0.7% have tested positive for coronavirus 2019.  This data is from a study of 919 symptomatic kids at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  In Vermont, only 0.7% of the 150 symptomatic kids who were tested were positive.  This is the same rate as found in Seattle. ***
    4. Children who have respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, or are immunocompromised are at higher risk.
    5. Children are an important vector for transmission of coronavirus to adults.  However, they are less likely to be carrying it than adults.
  2. I’m pregnant.  Is my baby at risk?
    1. Small studies have found no transmission of coronavirus 2019 through the placenta to the fetus.  There has also been no coronavirus 2019 in the amniotic fluid.
      1. However, a few babies have tested positive for coronavirus.  It is unclear whether they were infected in utero, during delivery, or afterward.
    2. Studies of pregnant women infected with similar coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS have shown a higher rate of preterm labor.
    3. Pregnant women tend to have more severe symptoms of COVID-19 than their non-pregnant peers.
  3. Can I breastfeed my baby if I have COVID?
    1. There is no evidence of coronavirus 2019 being transmitted in the breastmilk.
    2. However, there is theoretical risk of an infant at the breast being exposed to a mother’s infected respiratory secretions.
    3. Symptomatic mothers should wear a mask while breastfeeding.
  4. Explain the name to me.
    1. Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Coronavirus 2 = SARS-CoV-2 is the virus. It is shortened to coronavirus 2019.  The disease it causes is COVID-19.
  1. Where did it come from:
    1. Most likely from bats. Unclear whether it was transmitted bat to human or if there was an intermediate host.
  2. How bad is it compared to the Flu?
    1. The flu is also a terrible disease and causes. In the current flu season there have been 39 million documented flu illnesses, 400,000 hospitalizations, and 24,000 deaths.
    2. 155 of the deaths have been in children.  This has been one of the worst flu seasons for children on record.
    3. We have a vaccine that works pretty well for the flu. Please vaccinate your family every year!
    4. The mortality rate of influenza is 0.1%.
    5. The mortality rate of COVID-19 is estimated at 2.3% (0.9% in South Korea versus 7.2% in Italy). Much higher mortality rate than the flu.
    6. There have been over 800,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The actual number of cases is likely much higher.
  3. How does it spread?
    1. Person-to-person transmission occurs by infected respiratory droplets contacting a person’s mucous membranes.
    2. Droplets typically fall to the ground within 6 feet of the infected individual.
    3. Virus lives on objects for an unknown amount of time and is a minor route for transmission.
  4. When is somebody contagious?
    1. A person may be contagious before symptoms present.
    2. If a person gets sick with COVID-19, they are considered contagious for at least 7 days from the onset of symptoms, and at least 3 days after the resolution of symptoms.
  5. Should I bleach wipe the mail and groceries?
    1. Coronavirus can live on surfaces for an unknown amount of time. It is not known how often this mode of transmission leads to COVID-19.
    2. There is no good guidance on this one. The only reliable guidance, is that washing your hands well with soap, often, is important for reducing your risk of contracting the disease.
  6. Can my child have a playdate with her best friend?
    1. Social distancing is critical for reducing the spread of coronavirus.  Kids can’t be relied upon to maintain at least 6 feet of spacing between each other.
  7. Can I take my child to the playground?
    1. Avoid the park as there may be coronavirus on the play structure surfaces, and it is hard to avoid other children on the playground.
  8. How long is this social distancing thing going to drag out?
    1. We would estimate at least several more weeks.
  9. Has Vermont dodged the bullet?
    1. We expect a surge in cases by mid-April.
    2. This is why social distancing and handwashing are critical ongoing.
  10. Are there any treatments for COVID-19?
    1. There are some drugs under investigation for possible treatment of COVID-19.  All data and experience is limited.
    2. Treatment is supportive: fluids for hydration, nutrition, and especially respiratory support.
  11. How can I help?
    1. Check in on your neighbors (while keeping distance).
    2. If you find old N95 or surgical masks in your basement that you don’t need, please give them to a health care professional.
    3. Can you or your business help make essential supplies?
    4. Food shelves are in desperate need of help and donations.
    5. Do your best to support local businesses.
  12. How close are they to making a coronavirus 2019 vaccine?
    1. 35 companies and institutions are working on coronavirus 2019 vaccines. Four have been doing animal testing, and one is about to start a human trial.  (Spinney, Laura.  “Coronavirus vaccine: when will it be ready?”  The Guardian.  March 30, 2020).
    2. It will be at least several months before a vaccine becomes available.

References:

  • McIntosh, Kenneth. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  UpToDate.  31 March 2020.
  • Spinney, Laura. “Coronavirus vaccine: when will it be ready?”  The Guardian.  March 30, 2020.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The World Health Organization.
  • HealthyChildren.org
  • Weigel, Gabriela.  “Novel coronavirus ‘COVID-19’: Special considerations for pregnant women.”  Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.  March 17, 2020.

Social and Economic Resources for Families

Scroll down for information

COVID 19 Resource List 

Please contact our Social Worker, Jordan Palker at 860-1928 ext 114 or [email protected] for any support during these challenging times. 

If you need immediate support dial 211 and you will be connected to the Vermont Resource Center. You can also go online to Vermont211.org 

  • Food Support

-3 Squares Vermont: A change in income could mean you are eligible for benefits to support your grocery shopping. Call 855-855-6181 or text VFBSNAP to 85511. 

https://dcf.vermont.gov/mybenefits

-WIC: Nutrition support for families with children under 5 years old. https://www.healthvermont.gov/family/wic. Call 1-800-649-4357 or email [email protected]. You can apply online at the website above as well. 

-Spectrum is providing free to go lunch and dinner from 12-1 and 5-6 at their drop in center. Contact Christina at 777-3341. Their drop in center is currently located at 191 Bank Street due to renovations. 

-Chittenden Food Shelf: https://www.vtfoodbank.org/coronavirus-services-for-individuals        Call 1-800-585-2265. 

-Feeding Chittenden Food Shelf: Contact the food shelf at 802-658-7939. They can provide free meals, products and can deliver in some cases. 

https://www.hungerfreevt.org/news/coronavirus 

Check out this website for additional resources. 

-Find your local food shelf at: https://www.vtfoodbank.org/agency-locator

-Schools are offering free Lunch & Breakfast. NO prior approval is needed. Some schools are delivering meals and others are offering pick up sites. If you go to your schools website it should have more information or contact Jordan at 860-1928 ext 114 for support findinging more information regarding your school or local food shelf. 

  • Unemployment Support

-You can now file a claim online: https://labor.vermont.gov/unemployment-insurance 

*Click the link and then the red bar at the top of the page to get started. 

OR via phone @ Toll-free Initial Claims line: 1-877-214-3330 OR 1-888-807-7072

Claimant Assistance Line toll-free: 1-877-214-3332

-Parental, Family and Short Term leave is available for most Vermonters. It allows for employees to take off time as needed for personal reasons (Appts, Childcare, etc) without losing their employment. Go to https://humanresources.vermont.gov/tags/fmla or contact your company’s HR person to support this process. The paperwork is available online. 

 

  • Healthcare Support

During the COVID-19 emergency, Vermont will be: temporarily waving financial verifications required for those seeking to enroll in health insurance, extending out coverage periods until after the emergency ends, suspending certain terminations of health insurance AND offering a special enrollment period (1 Mo) for those who do not currently have health insurance. Eligible Vermonters can continue to apply for and enroll in Medicaid at any time. 

-Medicaid and some other insurers are allowing early prescription refills so that a 30 day supply can be maintained. 

  • Internet & Phone Resources

www.qlinkwireless.com provides free government issued cell phones or cell phone data for eligible Americans. The phones have unlimited texting, 1000 monthly minutes and 3 gb of data. Apply online at the above website. You can also bring a phone over to the plan in some cases. 

-AT&T: 

-Qualifying income households can receive $10/month internet services through their Access program.

-They will not terminate any current customers due to an inability to pay their bill. They are also waving all late payments. They are also not charging overage fees currently.

-Burlington Telecom: 

-Free during covered period of school closure. Only qualifications are being a Burlington resident and having a student home who gets reduced lunch. 

-Go to https://burlingtontelecom.com/community/  or call 1-800-540-0007.

-Comcast:

-Xfinity hotspots wifi free for everyone across the country. Go to www.xfinity.com/wifi to see a list of hotspots. To join simply click on “Xfinitywifi” to join and launch your browser. 

-No disconnects or late fees.

-Internet Essentials Free to new customers for 60 days. Go to https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19   

-Verizon:

-Waving late fees from March 16-May 16 and will not terminate service to a customer who has been impacted by COVID-19. 

-Find your specific provider and the steps they are taking to support you at the following website: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/new-connectivity-resources-support-you-during-covid-19-state-emergency-vermont

 

  • Gas and Electric Support: 

-Burlington Electric: Late payments due to financial issues during this time will not be penalized with disconnection. If you think you may have a late payment or are unable to pay your bill contact them at 802-865-7300. 

-Green Mountain Power: Temporarily suspending all collections and disconnections until the end of April. If you are having trouble paying your bill call them at 1-888-835-4672.

-Vermont Gas: Temporarily suspending all collections and disconnections through the    end of April. If you are having trouble paying your bill call them at 802-863-4511. 

-CVOEO: Can provide fuel assistance. 

Chittenden County 1-802-863-6248 option 2

Addison County 1-802-388-2285

Franklin/GI County 1-800-300-7392

After Hours 1-800-479-61511

 

  • Transportation Support

GMTA buses will be offering fare free service until April 1, 2020.

  • Other Support

North Country Federal Credit Union offering no interest loans to members who have taken a hit as a result of COVID-19. Zero interest loans up to $5000 for people with existing direct deposit accounts. First payment isn’t due for 120 days and people will have two years to pay off the loans.

-Old North End “ONE” providing $100 grants to residents. Go to https://onegooddeedfund.org/covid-19-relief/ to apply. They can provide $100 gift cards or direct payments to utilities for Burlington residents whose income has been impacted by COVID19. 

-Service Workers financial support: https://ofwemergencyfund.org/help 

-Vermont DMV 

  • Mental Health Support

-If you need immediate support Chittenden County First Call is available 24 hours a day at 488-7777. In Franklin/GI County you can contact NCSS Crisis services at 524-6554 or 1-800-834-7793. 

-Many providers are switching to telemedicine for support during this time. For a complete list of clinicians in Vermont you can go to www.Psychologytoday.com

-Centerpoint is a large provider for adolescents and they are committed to providing full telemedicine support regarding mental health and substance abuse support during these times. You can contact them at 488-7711. 

If you need support connecting with someone or would like to speak with our social worker please reach out to Jordan at 860-1928 ext 114.

  • Substance Use Support

-Turning point of Chittenden County will be moving to phone and online formats. Go to their facebook page Turning Point Center of Chittenden County for updates or call the center at 802-861-3150.

-Turning Point of Franklin County will be moving all meetings to online formats. Go to their Facebook page “Turning Point of Franklin County” or call one of their recovery coaches 802-782-8454.

  • Domestic Violence Support 

-STEPS in Burlington staff will be working remotely, but are available via phone at 802-658-3131 and their hotline at 802-658-1996.

-Voices against violence in St Albans is available 24/7 on their hotline at 802-524-6575.

Stimulus Package Breakdown: