COVID-19/Town Services

Centers for Disease Control

Vermont Department of Health

UVM Medical Center      

Vermont Emergency Management 

COVID-19 Community Guide  

Vermont Department of Health FAQ

COVID UPDATE:  As of  November 11, there are 173 COVID cases in Colchester, which is not surprising considering our residential and employment populations as well as our location in the most populated county in the State of Vermont. This includes cases from Saint Michaels College. 

Flattening the curve still matters.  The longer we can prevent infections, the better prepared we will be to treat them.   Bring masks with you when leaving your home, and wear them when around others who don’t live in your home. Wash your hands frequently and maintain physical distancing when around others who don’t live in your home. 

Social Media:  It is important to get information from reliable, credible sources. Misinformation and rumors can be common in rapidly changing situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage Vermonters to seek science-based information from trusted sources. Please do not post, repost, share, or forward information about COVID from second-hand, unconfirmed, or anonymous sources on social media.

Town Role in COVID-19 Response: Your Town staff continues to provide municipal services including rescue, fire, and police; maintenance of roads, paths, parks and buildings; library lending and programs; recreation programs; planning, zoning and permitting; Town clerk services; economic development and local public information.   We support these services with vehicle and equipment maintenance, information technology, human resources, finance, assessor, treasury, and coordination of resources.

Colchester’s Emergency Operations Plan was updated by the Selectboard on March 17th. We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation since January, and developed continuation of operations plans for municipal services. The plans help maintain the crucial services; help keep the public safe, and help maintain the capacity of our first responding public safety services. Also in March, we declared a State of Emergency under the Colchester Code of Ordinances Chapter 16, Emergency Management, to allow the Town to exercise emergency powers to help protect the public health and safety of our community.

We are also in regular communication with the Vermont Emergency Operations Center regarding conditions in Colchester and taking advantage of State and Federal resources when they are available.

Town Services: The Town follows the recommendations from the State of Vermont and the Centers for Disease Control as they pertain to the Town as an employer and a provider of emergency and municipal services.  

The Town has reduced services and resources in some areas due to COVID-19. This is necessary because of reductions in demand and reduced fees for certain fee based services and the impact of Federal and State COVID-19 related work rules on service delivery. The Town receives about $7.5M annually or about 40% of its total annual revenue from non-tax fees.  Town tax revenues through August 2020 are at normal levels.  We are carefully attending to Town revenues, reporting to the Selectboard monthly, and will work carefully to align services with revenues.   Services are more fully described in the departmental information below. 

Colchester Town Offices at 781 Blakely Rd. are open to the public from 7:30 am to noon except for Town Holidays. Masks are required.  We are available by phone and email in the afternoon. Our online services are available 24/7. Town Directory: https://tinyurl.com/Col-Town-Dir

We cannot allow entry to anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to enter Town buildings. COVID-19 Symptoms include: Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, and New loss of taste or smell.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. 

Information about changed services: 

Assessor                      

Colchester’s Burnham Library           

Parks & Recreation     

Planning and Zoning                          

Public Works

Town Clerk/Treasurer

Town Newsletters with COVID-19 Updates Updates beginning March

 Click here

Other Local Services & Updates:

Vermont Modeling

Unemployment: 

Unemployment: During the current economic crisis caused by COVID-19, the unemployment rate rose extremely fast—but is now declining quickly, at least in Vermont and Colchester. Initially, the Colchester unemployment rate rose from 1.9% to 13.3% in two months. We are now at 3.8% unemployment. This is well below the 6.3% peak of the 2007-2009 recession. Info on past downturns: https://colchestervt.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/693

The 3.8% unemployment rate only represents people who are actively looking for a job. The unemployment rate would not include people who cannot work due to lack of childcare or a variety of other reasons. In August 2020, 9.1% or 803 fewer Colchester residents were working than in August 2019. Unemployment definitions: https://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm. National, State, County and Colchester Unemployment: http://www.vtlmi.info/laus.pdf

 Local Resources for those in Need:

  • Colchester Food Shelf  245 Main Street, Colchester, 802.879.2444 - Open Wed Noon - 6 PM
  • Chittenden County Food Shelf  228 North Winooski Ave, Burlington, 802. 658.7939 - Open M - F 9 AM - 4 PM
  • Colchester Helping Colchester  matching those in need of non-emergency assistance with volunteers for deliveries or other errands.  If you are in need of assistance:
  • Childcare for Essential Persons Childcare is available for those who have been deemed essential to the COVID-19 response. Workers in critical businesses and whom are working out of the home and do not have other options are eligible for child care.
  • WIC gives access to healthy foods, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, and more.  If you’re pregnant, a caregiver, or a parent with a child under five, check if you qualify for WIC.
  • 3SquaresVT (known nationally as SNAP) A state food assistance program based on income.
  • AgeWellVT.org The leading experts and advocates for the aging population of Northwestern Vermont. Contact them to volunteer to be a Meals on Wheels Driver. They are always in need of volunteers, especially now. Contact Erica Marks at emarks@agewellvt.org
  • Unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Vermont Department of Labor 800-983-2300.
  •  Vermont Department of Labor Virtual Town Hall  Information on various topics relating to COVID-19
  • Vermont 211: Dial 211 for a directory of state and non-profit human service programs
  • Home Loan Assistance Vermont Financial Regulation’s Summary of National Foreclosure Freezes and Forbearance Programs for consumer assistance loan types as well as holds on foreclosures and evictions.
  • Rental Housing Stabilization Program The Vermont State Housing Authority is for funding landlords on behalf of tenants in need of rental arrearage assistance due to COVID-19 to avert tenant eviction. 
  •  Emergency Mortgage Assistance The State of Vermont received money through the Federal CARES Act to help people pay back mortgage payments they have missed due to COVID-19. Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is accepting applications. Funding is limited, and applications will be accepted until funding expires. Eligibility Requirements include: Homeowners living in Vermont as their primary residence; Mortgage entered before March 1, 2020 (home-equity loans and reverse mortgage are NOT eligible); Two or more missed payments due to a COVID-19; and Income for all borrowers for the previous 90 days does not exceed $21,000 ($24,000 in Chittenden County)
  • Utility Bill Assistance Program  Grant funding to assist Vermonters with overdue utility bills as a result of economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide 100% of eligible outstanding arrearages that are more than 60 days overdue for regulated utility customers with delinquent balances who may face disconnection of service. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2020 and grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Email atpsd.consumer@vermont.gov or call 1-800-622-4496.

Residential Information:

Mental Health Resources:

  • First Call For Chittenden County Serving clients and the community regardless of age or diagnosis. Trained staff is available 24/7/365, regardless of the type of service. Call for phone support, crisis intervention and assessment, referrals to appropriate services, and connection to follow-up care. Call    802-488-7777
  • Coronavirus and Our Mental Health Sponsored by the Vermont Agency of Human Services.
  • Mental Health: How to Get Help Sponsored by the Vermont Agency of Human Services.

Business Information:

Local Volunteering Opportunities:

State-wide Volunteering Opportunities: