Dear Board, Staff and Extended Family,
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) has an increased impact throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation, our first priority is the safety, health, and well-being of our staff members, volunteers and the individuals we are privileged to serve. As of today, we are not aware that any of our staff members or consumers have been diagnosed with COVID-19. We will keep you updated should any new developments arise.
Janine LaCour, office manager, is the organization’s point person for information and questions related to policy during this outbreak. She is closely monitoring the rapidly-evolving developments and making sure we abide by the recommended safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the state, and our local county health departments. The CDC’s website specifically addresses FAQ’s, symptoms, prevention, and treatment – information that you may find helpful.
We are taking the necessary steps and precautions to prevent, contain, and minimize any potential exposure to the virus that our organization could face and to protect the particularly vulnerable population that we serve. To that end, we are ensuring that best sanitizing practices are implemented. We are confident that diligent attention from each one of us to the practice of good hygiene, like washing our hands, ensuring that our common areas are sanitized, “social distancing” and self-monitoring, will help to minimize the impact of Coronavirus and any other flu or colds.
All staff are advised to stay home if they are not feeling well. Depending on symptomology, a doctor’s release may be required to return to work. Anyone with a sick child or family member is encouraged to work from home to minimize exposure. Please speak with Janine or with me to make arrangements to work from home. There are laptops available or we can install a VPN on your home computer to provide access to your office desktop from home. We will, of course, exercise flexibility in administering PTO for anyone who needs to stay home because they are ill or because they have a sick family member.
At this time, all Sight Center programs and services are in full operation although we have cancelled speaking engagements in nursing homes and senior centers at their request. Staff are asked to avoid crowded events such as health fairs, although most have been cancelled anyway. We are especially committed to those elderly blind individuals who count on us for transportation and shopping assistance and we will monitor their circumstances as well as we can. No one will be left without food or transportation to the doctor to the best of our ability. Vehicles are supplied with sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizers although we must also firmly encourage clients to stay home from any non-necessary appointments if they don’t feel well.
As you can imagine, we have already received phone calls from clients and family members worried about their individual situations. We are doing our best to allay their fears and provide comfort. We have discussed additional plans that we will implement if the need arises. Our responses to the situation will remain fluid and we will keep you informed of any changes.
My very best to you,