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  • Writer's pictureEthan Dezotelle

Coming Out of Quarantine and Hibernation

After a year of quarantine that felt like a decade – not to mention a winter that seemed to last forever – we’re finally returning to some semblance of life as we knew it before COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, March 23, a vast majority of Franklin Homestead & Carriage House residents and staff will be two weeks past receiving their second COVID-19 vaccines, and we are loosening restrictions throughout our facilities. We’re following guidelines from the CDC and the State of Vermont closely, and we ask anyone spending time with our residents to please do the same.

(CDC guidelines for post-vaccination can be found here.)

New guidelines include:

• After months of allowing only medically necessary visits to residents’ rooms, residents can now host social visits in their apartments with one or two people from the same household at a time.

• Residents may hug loved ones from other households while wearing masks and otherwise maintaining six feet of distance during visits.

• Residents can go for outings with one other household at a time. If going out, residents should avoid busy public spaces as much as possible.

• We will soon begin serving some noon-time meals in our dining room once again. As social distancing needs to be maintained, we’re still working out details on this.

• Much to the delight of residents, our hairdresser returns this week to give haircuts and, next week, perms and other related services.

Despite these changes, we are still maintaining a degree of caution. There is still a big question mark over whether vaccinated individuals can transmit the virus. Additionally, COVID-19 variants are could post a threat, and we don’t know at this point how long the vaccine will protect against COVID-19.

With that in mind, we’ll be keeping our front door locked and requiring all visitors to sign in and wash hands or use hand sanitizer. Further, if anyone visiting has COVID-19 symptoms or has been exposed to the virus, they will be asked to please not enter the building.

We have requested that residents not gather with multiple households, in crowded spaces, or with anyone who might be at high risk of exposure.

Weather permitting, we’re encouraging residents to visit with loved ones outside as much as possible. The great outdoors is still a far safer space for interaction that inside.

For everyone’s safety, Franklin Homestead & Carriage House staff are still wearing protective face masks around residents and other staff, maintaining six feet of social distancing as much as possible, and washing or sanitizing their hands regularly.

In the days and weeks ahead, expect more announcements as more people get vaccinated and more is learned about COVID-19 variants, transmission, and the length of the vaccines’ effectiveness.

As always, if you have any questions, you can reach manager Stacy Silloway at or me, Ethan Dezotelle, at We can also be reached at (802) 285-2944.

Thanks, and be healthy, safe, and happy.

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