Increased COVID-19 activity in Bennington County

Bennington County Community Partners,

The Health Department has detected an increase in COVID-19 activity in Bennington County during a 10-week period beginning 12/1/20. What we know is:

  • The Town of Bennington and some surrounding towns have evidence of increased rates, multiple household clusters and workplaces with cases.
  • Surrounding towns with increased rates include Pownal, Shaftsbury, Arlington, Manchester, Winhall and Dorset.
  • At this time we are seeing an increased number of cases that are not known to be associated with an outbreak, which is an indication of more widespread community transmission.

We are sharing this information to encourage community-wide public health interventions. We are asking for your partnership and recommend taking the following steps to slow the spread of infections:

1. Increase messaging about COVID-19 prevention across platforms such as Front Porch Forum, the town websites, local newspapers, and social media. Include the following talking points in your messages:

  • Our area is seeing an increase in COVID-19 activity.
  • Take these prevention steps to help slow the spread:
    • Stay home if you are sick.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Keep your social circle to only the people you live with.
    • Stay at least 6 feet apart from people you do not live with.
    • Wear a mask any time you are around people you do not live with.
  • We are monitoring the map of recent cases by town on the Health Department’s website to know when spread begins to slow down in our area.
  • If you have gathered with people you don’t live with, you should quarantine, and we encourage you to get tested right away, and then again 7 days after the gathering.
  • If you had close contact with someone with COVID-19, follow quarantine guidelines. Answer the phone if a contact tracer from the Health Department calls you.
  • Avoid non-essential travel. If you travel out of Vermont, you must quarantine when you return.
  • Remember that we’re all at risk of getting this virus. Offer to help community members who are affected by isolation and quarantine. We thank you for being understanding and supportive of one another during this time.
  • Find more information at healthvermont.gov/COVID-19.

2. Regularly share information about where to get tested. Find testing opportunities in your area on the COVID-19 testing web page.

3. Refer to the map of recent cases by town to monitor the spread in your town. Read the Frequently Asked Questions above the map to learn more about what the map shows. Transmission is decreasing in your town when the color gets lighter. Transmission is increasing when the color gets darker. The map is updated every Friday.

4. Check out additional resources at healthvermont.gov/COVID-19 to stay informed on the latest guidance and information.

We hope this information is helpful. Thank you for your actions to help prevent further spread of the virus. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me via phone or email. Due to medical privacy laws, we are not able to release the names of people with COVID-19 or any more specific information about cases than what is provided in this communication.

Thank you,

Megan Herrington

Megan Nuismer Herrington, MPH
District Director | Bennington District Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-447-6406 (o) | 802-355-3833 (c)
324 Main Street Suite 2
Bennington, VT 05201