Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) is distributing $5 million to Vermont adult day centers to provide financial stability after an extended shut down due to COVID-19. This investment is made with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery fund, allocated by the Legislature in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.
Vermont’s adult day centers provide essential daytime services, such as personal care, nursing assessment, family respite and therapeutic activities, to people with medical conditions. Because the patrons of these centers are often much more vulnerable to COVID-19, the sector was closed for an extended period during the pandemic.
“We know the restrictions and closures that were necessary during the height of the pandemic have had a significant impact on all organizations, but especially those who care for older Vermonters,” said Governor Phil Scott. “That’s why we have worked with federal and state partners to use relief dollars to help keep these businesses, non-profits and healthcare providers going as we continue moving forward in our recovery.”
Prior to this round of funding, DAIL granted more than $7.3 million in federal COVID Relief Funds to these centers, providing critical financial stability through June 2021.
“The adult day industry worked incredibly hard to care for their clients throughout the pandemic, creating alternative solutions for their participants throughout the year, such as online check-ins and remote gatherings designed to combat the effects of social isolation,” said DAIL Commissioner Monica White. “I appreciate their efforts and we’re pleased to provide this support, which will give these centers a greater chance of surviving the pandemic and providing valuable services to Vermonters.”
In June 2021, as Vermont’s successful vaccination efforts rolled out, the adult day centers began to reopen in-person services following the Vermont Forward Plan and COVID infection control guidance. However, as centers reopened, most did so at significantly reduced census due to the pandemic and shortage of workers, requiring continued financial support to maintain operations and critical infrastructure. Act 74 recognized this need and appropriated this funding to support operating costs, program infrastructure and COVID-19 related expenses throughout State Fiscal Year 2022.