March 13, 2020, COVID-19 Updates & GROW Operations
Overview of the Coronavirus- COVID-19
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people, such as with MERS-CoV and SARS- CoV. The virus that contains COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in China and some limited person-to-person transmission has been reported in countries outside China, including the United States. However, respiratory illnesses like seasonal influenza, are currently widespread in many US communities.
Much is unknown about how the virus that causes COVD-19 spreads. Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The Center for Disease Control is working across the Department of Health and Human Services and across the U.S. government in the public health response to COVID-19.
As of this moment, there are two cases of confirmed COVID-19 infection in Southeast Michigan and four cases of COVID-19 in West Michigan. If you are concerned you have COVID-19 symptoms, Spectrum Health is offering free COVID-19 virtual screenings 24/7 to people in the state of Michigan who are experiencing symptoms at 616.391.2380. More information from Spectrum is here: https://www.spectrumhealth.org/covid19
Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW)
COVID-19 Infectious Disease Preparedness Plan
GROW is continuing to monitor developments related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and potential impact on its day-to-day operations.
At present, GROW will:
- Follow recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Kent County Health Department.
- Encourage employees and volunteers who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
- Separate and send home employees and volunteers who develop symptoms of acute respiratory illness after coming to work.
- Monitor employee and volunteer travel histories for visits to any high-risk destinations and work to limit exposure to other co-workers, clients, volunteers and stakeholders through voluntary quarantining.
- Increase the availability of hand sanitizing products throughout the office.
- Communicate with staff, clients, volunteers, and stakeholders about updates to policy changes i.e. modified hours, disruption of services or suspension of congregant activity programs. Any changes to operating status will be communicated immediately to all stakeholders via direct communications, the GROW website, and select social media platforms.
- Immediately notify local health officials on any incidents of confirmed exposure to COVID-19 from guests to the office or as a result of visits to client businesses.
- The YWCA has increased cleaning services of our facilities and provided hand sanitizers at key locations in the building. They are also increasing sanitation of door handles and countertops in public areas.
- Employees will not be required to attend large events on behalf of GROW if they are not comfortable doing so.
As developments continue to unfold and as guided by health experts, GROW may:
- Place limits on workshop participation to allow for enhanced social distancing
- Suspend public workshops for most vulnerable attendee populations i.e. seniors.
- Suspend all public workshops both onsite and offsite.
- Confirm the recent health history of the most vulnerable client populations prior to the scheduling of service.
- Temporarily suspend in-person client contact and seek temporary extensions and/or digital alternatives.
- Adjust and pivot to staffing needs on a case by case basis for any staff member effected by COVID-19
Kent County www.accesskent.com/health/coronavirus.htm
State of Michigan www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
Here a few suggestions on preventive measures:
You will find much more information on the following CDC fact sheet links
- Hand washing is essential. Please wash your hands on a regular basis and take the time now to review the CDC handwashing guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/hand/handwashing.html
- The CDC has also published guidelines for coughing and sneezing: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Please refrain from shaking hands or hugging. This can be awkward, but people should understand.
Where possible, such as the staff offices, doors will remain open to avoid the need to touch a door handle.
As stated above we are monitoring events and will keep you posted here on our website, via social media channels and email notifications.
Should we cancel any GROW classes due to the Virus we will notify our clients by phone as well as post notices on our Social Media channels.
If you have any questions, please contact us through the website here.