Given that data indicate that Vermont is past the peak for COVID-19 infections, the state has begun to reopen some businesses, allowing increasing numbers of people to work together. On April 27 that number was 2. By May 4 it had been raised to 10. Nurseries, landscapers, farmers markets, and professional services reopened, all required to follow public health safety guidelines. As of May 11, companies engaged in construction, manufacturing, and distribution will be resume full operations at the necessary staffing capacity, that which allows workers to observe health and safety precautions.
As of May 6, Governor Scott has relaxed “stay home/stay safe” guidelines to allow low-contact outdoor recreation with people from “trusted households” known to be following public health recommendations. He recommends that people who live in Vermont stay in Vermont, especially avoiding hot spots like Massachusetts and New York.
Anyone coming into the state is expected to self-quarantine for 14 days. People who do not live in Vermont, please do not come yet; it remains important to end community spread of the novel coronavirus. Lodgings may accept reservations after mid-June.
What does this mean for reopening The Stone Trust? At the moment our staff continues to work from home to fulfill orders for tools & books and schedule instructors for the upcoming workshop season, which begins again in July.
With regard to workshops, our student:instructor ratio is 8:1, well within the current recommendation to limit social gatherings to 10 people. At full operational capacity we enroll up to 16 people in each workshop, exclusive of Steps & Stairs where we enroll 8. At this point, we are opening registrations to half of full capacity (if 16, then 8; if 8 then 4). We will keep waiting lists for each workshop and/or recommend an alternate workshop date. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions or comments regarding registration.
We are in the process of creating a reopening and training plan, as required for all Vermont organizations under the most recent guidelines. We will do everything we can to ensure that in addition to learning a lot about dry stone walling, all workshop participants are able to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. We’ll keep you posted!