Pandemic Resources

Sharon, Vermont Information

Local Icon For information specific to the Town of Sharon, please see Sharon Incident Command.

Upper Valley Information

Local Icon UVStrong has created a stellar site that gathers resources for Upper Valley residents. You can find information on housing, food, childcare, utilities, transportation, and more.

State of Vermont Information

Vermont’s website healthvermont.gov is updated daily with information about cases in Vermont, as well as with the state’s response. To learn about steps enacted by the state of Vermont, click on “What Vermont Is Doing.” To read updates on the spread of coronavirus throughout the state, in addition to steps being undertaken, click on “Updates.” The site also contains information on testing, travel, social distancing, and much more.

Vaccine Information

Going online to healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine is the fastest way to make an appointment, and there are enough slots at sites throughout Vermont for everyone who is eligible.

Who’s Eligible (updated 5/13)

• All Vermonters 12+

Appointments are required. Clinics cannot accept walk-ins. The vaccine is free. You may register if you are eligible or help your family member or neighbor sign up. The call center for questions is available at 855-722-7878. Check out Vermont’s Getting the Covid Vaccine information page to learn more.

If you or someone you know would like assistance with online registration, the library is here to help.  We have public computers, wifi, and a librarian available to assist anyone who needs support. You’re also welcome to call the library at 763-2875 for help with the process.  **You don’t have to make an appointment for the vaccine online. Appointments can also be made by phone. Just call 855-722-7878.

You will be asked to provide your name, date of birth, address, email (if available), phone number, and health insurance information (if available, but not required).

Vermont Immigrant Families Covid Fund

The Vermont Community Foundation is charged with administering a state program which gives direct stimulus payments to people living in Vermont who were left out of the federal program due of their immigration status. If an individual was not able to receive the 2020 federal stimulus because of their immigration status and they meet the criteria described by the legislature (see the FAQ page), they will be eligible for the state funding through this program. The sign-up form is available in English and several other languages spoken in Vermont.

Vermont COVID-19 Arrearage (payment of past due bills) Assistance Program

Vermonters suffering economic hardship due to loss of income from COVID-19 can get help now to pay past due utility bills for residential and business or nonprofit accounts.  Eligible utility bills include water and wastewater/sewer bills and electric, wired line telephone, and natural gas. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis until funding runs out or the program ends in December. Funds for this program were made available through the federal CARES Act and the State of Vermont Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Find more information on the Department’s webpage at https://publicservice.vermont.gov. You can also call your utility to ask questions or contact your local Community Action Agency, or contact the Department’s Consumer Affairs and Public Information (CAPI) Division at 1‑800-622-4496 or by email at psd.consumer@vermont.gov

Relief for Renters

If you’re having trouble making rent payments as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone.

Federal, state, and local governments are offering help with housing expenses and avoiding eviction. Find out what this means for you, and what you can do. Visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Help For Renters page for more information.

Also, The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP) was created to help renters dealing with financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For eligible households, the program offers rental and utility assistance to help Vermonters avoid eviction or loss of utility service. ERAP was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021. You can find out more at https://erap.vsha.org/

Mortgage Relief

Most homeowners can temporarily pause or reduce their mortgage payments if they’re struggling financially. Learn about your options at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Help for Homeowner’s page.

Also, the Vermont Housing Finance Agency is accepting applications again from Vermont homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This latest round of program funding provides grants for up to 12 months of past-due mortgage and property tax payments for eligible Vermont homeowners. For mortgage assistance, visit www.vhfa.org/map or call (888) 714-2260 to learn more and apply. A separate rental assistance program is available through the Vermont State Housing Authority at erap.vsha.org

Food Assistance

If your financial situation has recently changed, you may now qualify for Vermont nutrition and food programs. They include: WIC program (Women, Infants and Children), 3SquaresVT/SNAP, and more. Newer programs such as Farmers to Families and Everyone Eats are helping to fill the gaps. All these programs can help keep healthy food on the table.

Contact the Health DepartmentHunger Free Vermont, or call 2-1-1 for more information.

Applying for Unemployment Insurance

If your job has been affected by the coronavirus, you may be able to apply for unemployment insurance.  Here are the step by step instructions.

Free COVID-19 Testing

Testing for all Vermonters is now free.

Finding and Paying for Child Care

Help finding child care is available. Complete this confidential referral form, and a trained referral specialist will reach out to you.

You might be surprised to learn that you qualify for help with your child care costs. Families of four can make up to $6,550 per month and still qualify! Being eligible for help is not just based on income. The Vermont Department of Children and Families also considers the size of your family and the reason you need child care (e.g., to work or attend school). Check out DCF’s Child Care Financial Assistance program to learn more about eligibility.

Emotional and Mental Health Resources

If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs emotional support, help is available 24/7:

COVID Support VT – Confidential and free emotional support and connections to community resources. Call 2-1-1, option #2, M-F, 8-8. Interpreter services and a Spanish speaking counselor are available. Weekly workshops on tips and strategies to help promote mental health and wellness.

The Vermont Support Line from Pathways Vermont provides anonymous, non-judgmental support and connection for all Vermonters by phone. It’s staffed by local peers who’ve been through tough situations themselves. They listen, talk with you, provide insight, and help you face life’s challenges. The line is open every day from 3:00 pm to 6:00 am.  
(833) VT-TALKS / (833) 888-2557 or by text at (833) 888-2557

Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support via a medium people already use and trust: text. To start, text “VT” to 741741.

Online Recovery Meetings

Second Wind Recovery Meetings and Coaching – Although The Upper Valley Turning Point peer recovery center is closed and all onsite activities temporarily suspended, we are here for you! The isolation created by COVID-19 is difficult for many people. Those in recovery from substance use disorder and their families rely on a close knit and accessible community for support.  During this time the Turning Point is providing many online alternatives via Zoom meetings.

WeConnect Health Management – Five daily free meetings to individuals and one to families and loved ones, all online.  Everyone is welcome no matter your pathway to recovery or recovery status. 

Domestic Violence Prevention

WISE
You are not alone. We are still available to you and your loved ones. We are adapting and adjusting, and we are here for you as always. On those inevitable days or moments when you are not feeling particularly strong, please know that we are here for you every hour, every day. Call the crisis line (866-348-WISE) or chat with us online. You do not have to be in crisis to reach out to us.

Our WISE educators have created a number of WISE activities for teachers, parents, and students to supplement their home lessons. Check them out in Prevention.

Vermont Law Help

Legal and Benefits Updates for Vermonters – The outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus has created many changes in the way Vermont courts are operating, changes to public benefits, and more. This page is filled with fantastic information from evictions and foreclosures, to federal student loans, to child custody arrangements during the pandemic.

Internet

Local Icon Baxter Memorial Library offers free wifi (no password required). Though the building is closed, the signal extends into the parking lot behind the building. You can find other public buildings in Vermont with free wifi access using this map.

Vermont Temporary Broadband Subsidy Program
The Temporary Broadband Subsidy Program provides eligible Vermont households with a credit to assist with Internet service subscriptions. Residential account holders who have suffered an economic hardship due to COVID-19 and require high-speed Internet services for a qualifying need may receive a temporary credit of up to $40 per month toward an Internet service subscription. 

Applying for Health Insurance

Vermont Health Connect
The 2020 open enrollment period ends December 15, 2020. Until then, any Vermonter may sign up for coverage. If you miss open enrollment, you may have to wait until next year to get health insurance. Vermont Health Connect’s Customer Service Center will have longer hours for the last week of Open Enrollment (December 12-13 8AM-1PM, December 14-15 8AM-7PM). 1-855-899-9600

Did you know?
If you lose your job-based insurance at any time of the year, you have 60 days to get onto a Vermont Health Connect plan.

Outdoor Recreation in VT during COVID-19

VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation– During the current COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outdoors close to home and connecting with nature is an excellent way to help maintain our mental and physical health.  Although facilities like restrooms at many areas may be closed, people are still welcome to enjoy state parks, state forests and wildlife management areas.