COVID-19 News & Updates
The Quechee Club is closely monitoring the guidance from our local and federal authorities as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). We care deeply about the health and safety of our members, staff, and community.
| Entry and Parking |
May 10, 2020
I have recently received messages from many of you that live out-of-state about your frustration with Vermont’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order and its imposition of limits on your ability to use the Club. I have also received messages from many of you that are full-time residents about your concern that the Club vigorously enforce the Governor’s Order in order to minimize the chances of a COVID-19 outbreak at the Club. This obviously creates a dilemma for me and your Board of Trustees.
I can assure you that as much as we would like all members to be able to enjoy the Club, my (and the rest of your Board of Trustees’) principal concern is for the safety and health of our membership and our staff.
Although I was a banker in New York City for many years, for those of you that don’t know, my current “day job” is as Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development (VT DED). Our department is part of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD). ACCD has been charged with providing guidance to Vermont businesses and individuals on the requirements and restrictions created by the Governor’s Executive Order. As a result, I am quite familiar with the issues that the Order raises.
For those of you that live nearby, but not in Vermont, I can assure you that a variety of proposals have been “floated” in state government. It maybe that one of these may be adopted as the economy continues to open-up.
For those of you hoping to travel to Quechee and to use the facilities without adhering to the quarantine requirements, I provide the following excerpt from VTDigger in its reporting on the Governor’s May 6th press conference earlier this week:
"The governor encouraged Vermonters to stay within the state and reminded people they should quarantine for 14 days if they go out of state and return. He noted hotspots are close by in neighboring Massachusetts and New York. Scott also made clear now was not the time for visitors to travel to Vermont.
'We would normally welcome you with open arms. At this time, we’re asking you to keep your distance,' Scott said. If they do visit, he said, they should be prepared to stay for two weeks to meet the quarantine.
'My message is to stay home, if you can, and not come to Vermont at this point in time,' Scott said."
I think that this excerpt makes the Governor’s current position on visits by those from out of state pretty clear.
In addition, your Board must consider the concern of infection expressed by residents that are in Quechee. In their messages they emphasize the need to comply with the Governor’s Order to prevent an outbreak. Among the issues that have been raised is the fact that Quechee is home to a large number of older residents – and that this population could be devastated by the introduction of the virus into our community.
We also need to be concerned about the health and safety of our employees. It is not fair to unnecessarily expose them to infection by the Coronavirus. For all of these reasons, your Board and I feel that although it is a difficult trade-off, we will continue to request that the membership observe the requirements of the Governor’s executive order – as they are amended.
We understand the frustrations of those of you whose access to the Club this impacts. I am truly hopeful that we will all soon be enjoying the Club under more normal circumstances.
President, Board of Trustees
April 23, 2020
It is disappointing to be writing to you with the Club still closed as a result of COVID-19. As I have reported in other communications, I expect that we will remain closed at least until the Governor’s current Executive Order expiration date of May 15th. This week there was a glimmer of hope as the Governor began the process of reopening with the announcement that businesses operating outdoors two-person micro teams will be able to reopen this week.
Your Board met this week and the Finance Committee reported on the efforts that they have taken, working with the Executive Team, to create a contingency plan that we will work from until we have an indication that we have a potential date for re-opening. Fundamentally, this means that the Board has approved conserving cash by reducing expenses wherever possible. This means that many of our staff have been furloughed, we are reducing other expenses where possible and we have cut the majority of our capital expenditures. These are difficult steps to take, we have great employees that need our support and we have great plans for our exceptional facilities. However, we want to be responsible with your funds since we don’t have any idea how long, or what form, our closure will take.
The Board also heard a report from Kathy Hickey, the Chair of the General Manager Search Committee. Kathy reported that the committee has been presented with seven strong candidates by our search consultant. The Committee is hoping to conduct first round interviews with a subset of these candidates in mid-May, if social distancing restrictions have been relaxed. We owe the Search Committee Members a huge thanks for all of their efforts. They are now going through their third round of candidates in what is starting to seem like an endless process. They have been diligent and serious and maintaining high standards in their search and I am confident that we will all benefit as a result.
Speaking of the recent Board meeting, as a result of social distancing concerns, this month’s session was held as an on-line event. It was great to see that as a result of holding it on-line, we reportedly had more than fifty members participate. Many of you have asked for more transparency in Club governance. Participating in these meetings is a great way to start. I hope that those of you that participated found the meeting useful and that even more of you will participate in future meetings. Given the uncertainty about timing of holding in-person meetings this year, the staff and the nominations committee are also preparing for what may be an online election process and Annual Meeting this year.
Many of you know that Quechee is lucky to have a group called QLLA Charities that is comprised of members that work hard to sponsor several events a year that raise money to help support the work of the Child Advocacy and Protection (CAPP) at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). Dr Resmiye Oral, Director of the Program, presented to the Board this month to discuss the importance of their work in treating children who suffer from mental, physical and sexual abuse. In particular, she raised the concern that there may be a substantial number of children that may be subjected to abuse as a result of COVID-19 stay at home requirements.
In addition, I would like to mention that there is a group of members that are kicking-off a COVID-19 related charitable effort called "Quechee Cares". Working in coordination with QLLA Charities, the Upper Valley Haven Food Shelf, Executive Director and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Director of Community Partnerships, this group will collect donations from the public that will be used to support the Haven as well as provide meals prepared and delivered by local area restaurants to the front line workers at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. This effort is a great way to help provide groceries for neighbors in need, provide cash to our local restaurants, while they are shut-down to dine-in customers, to help them to weather this effects of the pandemic and also thank our local front-line healthcare workers for the great job that they are doing attending to the sick while worrying about the risks to themselves and their families of caring for others during this difficult time. Donations can be made two ways:
1. Make a check out to “QLLA Charities”.
Mail to: QLLA Charities, C/O Jody Bartman, P.O. Box 693, Quechee, VT 05059
2. Using Venmo, search for “QLLACharities”.
You will see “Marty Whitney @QLLACharities”. This is the correct account to use.
If you would like more information please contact Jody Bartman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kathleen Casey (email@example.com), Terese Flaherty (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lisa Lacasse (email@example.com).
The weather hasn’t been all that good here in Quechee over the last few weeks. We have had relatively cold temperatures, rain and quite a few days of snow, however, I’m confident that sooner or later it is going to warm-up. For many of you the warm weather will be the sign that it is time to head to Quechee. On behalf of our full-time residents, I would like to refer you to the Vermont state quarantine guidelines. These guidelines are listed here: https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-chart-observation-isolation-quarantine_final.pdf. In reviewing them please note that they “are applicable to anyone returning to Vermont from out of the state for anything other than essential purposes”. These quarantine regulations require returning residents to stay at home for 14 days—without symptoms. Going out for groceries or exercise is not allowed until after this quarantine period has passed.
I hope that you are enjoying the emails that the Club staff has begun sending with recipes, exercise routines and golf tips. I’ve found them to be a nice connection to the Club during this frustrating time.
I wish you good health and hope that we are able to open and begin enjoying our beautiful club quickly.
President, Board of Trustees
April 10, 2020
As you know, our Club has been generally closed in order to comply with Governor Scott’s State of Emergency declarations. The Board had originally decided to align our decision on the end date of our closure with the end date of the State of Emergency Declaration which had been April 15th. This morning the Governor announced the extension of that closure date until at least May 15th. Therefore, so that we can remain in compliance with state law, the Board has decided to extend our closure date though at least May 15th, as well. We plan to continue our curb-side pick-up of dinners from the kitchen during this extended period. We have also received the approval of the state to undertake some maintenance work on our facilities, including the golf courses so that we should be ready to go with a speedy reopening when the closure requirements are lifted.
I know that this is a difficult time and that having our facilities closed enhances the feelings of cabin fever for many of us, but we should probably feel blessed that these events are happening during a “shoulder season” rather than in the middle of the Winter or Summer seasons. Also, undertaking these draconian efforts will help to keep our staff and Members safe – and is expected to ultimately save lives.
I hope that you are all able to stay healthy and enjoy your time social distancing. Please keep an eye out for additional messages over the next few weeks with ideas on how we can help other Quechee Members, local businesses and residents during this most difficult of times.
President, Board of Trustees
March 30, 2020
Governor Phil Scott today ordered additional restrictions on travelers arriving in Vermont and announced additional guidance for the lodging industry to enhance compliance with his Stay Home, Stay Safe order.
The order calls for increased compliance with CDC guidelines regarding residents and non-residents coming from outside the state for anything other than an essential purpose to home-quarantine for 14 days and strongly discourages travel to Vermont by those located in COVID-19 “hot spots.” Residents from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are being asked to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.
The Governor’s order also provides additional guidance to lodging providers to ensure compliance with the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, which suspended lodging operations.
The order makes clear that lodging facilities – which includes hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, short term rentals (e.g. VRBO, Homeaway, Airbnb, etc.), and all public and private camping facilities and RV parks – are to be closed except for stated exemptions when supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. Additionally, the Governor has suspended online lodging reservations.
The health and safety of the QLLA community is our top priority. It is imperative that we continue to follow social distancing and home quarantine guidelines in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
Governor Scott's full directive can be viewed online.
Stay healthy and be safe.
President, Board of Trustees
March 22, 2020
In light of all that is transpiring as a result of the COVID-19 virus, I would like to provide an update on the plan for the operations of your Club in the coming weeks. The Board of Trustees “met” yesterday, with many Trustees, and all non-Trustee participants, calling in an effort to maintain social distancing. Near-term operations were a principal topic of the discussion.
For those of you that have not been following the requirements that have been outlined by the State of Vermont, here is a quick overview of the elements of the Governor’s Executive Order that apply to the operations of the Club. First, the Governor’s original executive order was issued March 13th. This original order principally had the effect of limiting large gatherings at the Club. A few days later, on March 16th the original Order was modified by Addendum 2, which required the closing of commercial food and beverage operations, including the Club’s. On March 20th, the original Order was further modified by Addendum 4, which required the closing of all commercial gyms and fitness centers – including ours - and also limited in-person gatherings to those with ten people or less. The end date of the restrictions in this latest Addendum is April 15, 2020. Therefore, in order to remain in compliance with these State requirements, your Board agreed to keep the Club closed to all indoor activities until April 15th. This means that the few buildings that had remained open, such as the paddle tennis hut will now also be closed. This is a frustrating and difficult decision, but in light of the recent appeal by Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for locally manufactured masks, it is clear that the risk of overwhelming the healthcare system is very real and we need to comply with government regulations and to do our part.
There has been a lot of anecdotal discussion among the Membership that many of you have decided to move your work-from-home/teach-from-home activities to Quechee while we are dealing with this pandemic. If that is the case, the Board would like to know how many more people are around. Therefore, please send an email to Gina Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we have a feel for how many more members are in town than would otherwise be here. To accommodate this increase in Members in residence, and to assist Members that might otherwise be having trouble getting meals prepared, we have decided to re-open the recently deep-cleaned kitchen and serve take-out meals Wednesday through Saturday beginning this Wednesday. Please look for a subsequent email from the Club staff providing the details on this service.
In addition, Chris Trottier has been working to create a member forum in our online Member website. With all that is going on, I have asked her to launch a simple version of the forum this week in order to facilitate group conversations about issues going on in Quechee. I am hoping that one of the principal uses will be to help elderly, infirm or other Members needing assistance in getting food, medicines or other necessities to be able to get this assistance from other Members. Please also look for additional correspondence from Chris about this new forum.
With all of the restrictions that have been imposed on indoor activities, it is clear that many of us have take to the roads, trails, golf course, and ski hill to get some fresh air and exercise. It is also evident that many of us are bringing our dogs on these travels. The Board would like to remind you that, in general, dogs are not allowed on Quechee property, and if you are bringing your dog to one of the locations where they are allowed, please make sure to follow the Town of Hartford rules, which broadly stipulate that your dog must be on a leash, or under your control. Not all Members are dog lovers, or are comfortable around them so please be respectful of these situations and comply with the control rules.
Lastly, the Facilities Planning Committee has been doing a lot of hard work in examining the opportunities for upgrading our facilities over the next few years. As we struggle through this period of spreading pandemic and closed amenities, you can look forward to the presentation of their plans for an even better Quechee Club at the Annual Meeting this year.
I hope that you are able to stay healthy through this difficult period.
President, Board of Trustees
TRAVEL & LODGING
Residents and non-residents coming to Vermont from outside the state – for anything other than an essential purpose – should quarantine at home for 14 days. Travel to Vermont by anyone from a COVID-19 “hot spot” is strongly discouraged at this time.
The Stay Home Stay Safe order makes clear that lodging facilities – which includes hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, short term rentals (e.g. VRBO, Homeaway, Airbnb, etc.), and all public and private camping facilities and RV parks – are to be closed except for stated exemptions when supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. Additionally, the Governor has suspended online lodging reservations for stays through June 14th.
For up-to-date information on the Vermont Department of Health's public health response, please visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.
OUT OF STATE HOMEOWNERS
Letter to Out of State Homeowners from Hartford Town Manager, Brannon Godfrey
Local Resources for Residents in Quarantine
HELPING OUR COMMUNITY
Now available to the Membership is the Quechee Community Forum and Message Board. We hope this online system will help everyone stay connected and informed during these uncertain times, and to connect with fellow Members during better times to come!
The "Good Neighbor, Quechee" program was created by Carol Stall to promote emotional support via phone for QLLA members who may be elderly and/or infirm. While social distancing is important right now to ensure the health and safety of our community, Carol and her fellow program members feel it is especially vital during this difficult time to reach out and provide comfort to those in need. Contact information may be found within the Good Neighbor thread on the Community Message Board.