November 30, 2020

Updated Hartford School District Travel Guidance


DATE: 11-08-2020

Given the increase in COVID-19 cases in Vermont, the northeast region and across the nation, Hartford School District is providing the following travel information for students, families and staff.  Our commitment is to ensuring student and staff safety and keeping schools open for in-person instruction. 


The following information is based on guidance from Governor Phill Scott, the Vermont Department of Health, and the Agency of Education.  It is important to note that this information is subject to change and will be updated as needed.


General Travel:

Vermonters and those working in or attending school in Vermont must adhere to the state’s travel restrictions.  The cross state travel map is updated weekly on Tuesdays and provides information on what counties can be traveled to without needing to quarantine.  At this time, all of New Hampshire is subject to travel restriction.  We realize that the travel restrictions between Vermont and our New Hampshire neighbors in the Upper Valley can be confusing and inconvenient.  Per state of Vermont guidelines, Vermonters who live near a border and regularly travel to and from a neighboring state may make day trips to that state for work, health care, to commute to attend preK-12 school or college, and for other ESSENTIAL needs like groceries, medical care, picking up medication, or visitation for parental shared custody, without quarantining. When parental visitation is in a yellow or red travel county, there should not be non-essential travel within that county during the non-custodial parent visit. The quarantine exemption ONLY applies to the person under essential travel rules. It does not apply to anyone else who travels with you. Taking your children with you for these trips means that your children WILL need to quarantine because it is NOT essential for them to accompany you (unless your child is the patient seeking medical care or your child is traveling for parental shared custody visits). 


Below are some essential travel examples which can help to clarify the travel protocol:

  • Grocery shopping or picking up medication is covered as essential, but only for the adult doing the activity (not for children accompanying the adult);
  • Medical appointments are essential, but only for the adult who is the patient (not for children going with the adult.  NOTE:  if the child is the patient, one adult can accompany the child to the appointment, and that is considered essential travel);
  • Traveling to provide care to a family member (only the adult providing the care is covered as essential, not children/other family members who accompany the adult).

Some NON-essential examples are below, and travel for these reasons would require quarantine:

  • Sports events and sports shopping;
  • Holiday shopping;
  • Home decor and clothing shopping;
  • Visiting family/friends;
  • Eating at restaurants
  • Going to a gym
  • Going to a salon or barber shop

Please note:  The state of Vermont has just clarified with us that there is an approved way for Vermont residents to obtain goods from Upper Valley businesses in Grafton and Sullivan Counties (i.e. take-out food and non essential shopping items that have been ordered) without having to quarantine. The process for this would be for Vermonters to order the items via phone or online, paying for them the same way. They could then drive into Grafton or Sullivan County, open their trunk, remain in the car (except to open the trunk if needed, maintaining social distance if getting out to open the trunk), have the items placed into the trunk, and drive straight back to Vermont. There cannot be face to face interaction with employees of the businesses.  Call places of business ahead of time and see if curbside pick up is something they currently offer or if they are willing to do so.


HOLIDAY TRAVEL:

We understand that the upcoming holiday season is a time when many of us would like to visit with family and friends from across the area and out of state.  Unfortunately, this can not safely be done during the current pandemic.  People are urged to continue to follow the state’s travel guidance.  At this time, Vermonters are being asked to:

  • Avoid travel.  If Vermonters do travel to a restricted area, they must complete a full 14 day quarantine upon their return to Vermont or they may get a COVID-19 PCR test after 7 days of quarantine and resume normal activity once they receive a negative result.  
  • Limit private social gatherings to those local people whom you trust.
    • If hosting a gathering, take precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining 6ft social distancing.
      Keep gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
    • If hosting visitors who are required to quarantine, you will need to maintain 6ft distance, eat separately, use separate restrooms, and wear masks.  If unable to do this, the Vermonters will also need to quarantine starting when their guests leave.
  • If you are a Vermonter picking up a student from an out-of-state college, you and the student will need to quarantine when you come back to Vermont for 14 days. If you have not had symptoms of COVID-19, you have the option to get tested for COVID after 7 days and end your quarantine with a negative COVID PCR test result."

If you were unable to attend the Parent Q&A Forum offered on 11/5/20 but would like to hear the discussion, you can access the recording via this link.


We recognize how inconvenient these guidelines are but we believe that if everyone does their part, we can keep students in school, learning with their teachers and peers.  


Please do not hesitate to contact myself or one of the COVID Coordinators with questions or concerns.


Thank you,


Tom DeBalsi
Superintendent of Schools