Coronavirus and the Sight Center of NW PA
The internet and local news outlets as well as social media and the proverbial “grape vine” are rife with information and mis-information about COVID-19/Coronavirus. Federal and state governments are actively publishing information on developments and reliable resources are listed below.
|World Health Organization (WHO)||Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public|
|U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)||Get Your Workplace Ready for a Pandemic (flu-specific but can be adapted to Coronavirus)Pandemic Planning Checklists and Guidance (can be adapted to Coronavirus)|
|U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)||Safety and Health Topics: COVID-19How to Protect Yourself in the Workplace During a Pandemic|
|U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD)|
Pandemic Flu and the Fair Labor Standards Act (can be adapted to Coronavirus)Pandemic Flu and the Family and Medical Leave Act (can be adapted to Coronavirus)
|U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)||Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and The Americans With Disabilities Act|
Maintaining a safe and healthy workplace:
As the number of reported cases of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to rise, the Sight Center is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for our employees as well as the individuals and families we serve.
We are abreast of and compliant with:
- The general duty to provide employees with safe workplace conditions imposed by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA);
- Protection against disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
- Requirements set by federal and state employee leave laws; and
- The compensation of individuals who miss work due to COVID-19.
What is the Coronavirus?
The 2019 novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19” or “Coronavirus”) is a virus that is closely related to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, runny nose, cough and trouble breathing. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some, usually people with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal. The incubation period for COVID-19 varies between 2 and 14 days.
How Is the Virus Spread?
According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
It may also be possible for a person to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has been contaminated with the virus and then touching his or her own mouth, nose, or eyes, but this is not the main way the virus spreads.
People are most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms, and there have been reports of this occurring, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Disease Prevention at the Sight Center
The Sight Center has taken and will continue to take precautions to keep the disease from spreading through the workplace including sanitizing surfaces, requiring anyone who is sick to stay home and providing hand sanitizer to all who enter the building. Anyone who enters the building with any cold or flu-like symptoms will be asked to sanitize their hands and wear a mask provided at the front desk.
The Sight Center requires employees to stay home from work if they have signs or symptoms of a communicable disease that poses a credible threat of transmission in the workplace, or if they have traveled to high-risk geographic areas, such as those with widespread or sustained community transmission of the illness. When possible, employees can work remotely. Depending on symptomology, employees may be required to provide medical documentation that they can return to work.
As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Sight Center is closed. We continue to provide escorted transportation to our clients with necessary medical appointments as well as emergency grocery and supply delivery. Social work staff have called all clients to assess their needs and provide comfort and communication. We will remain in touch with this particularly vulnerable population until the “stay at home” orders are lifted, or the situation changes in some other way.
Communicating with Employees, Volunteers and Board
This communication is provided to all employees, volunteers and members of the board of directors as part of the Sight Center’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our workplace. Please contact Janine LaCour, Office Manager, or Linda Moore, CEO or refer to the resources cited above for additional informational material on the virus and its symptoms, prevention and treatment.