Rose Haven is closely monitoring developments with the coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of our guests, volunteers, staff and community is of the utmost importance to us. While we don’t want to be alarmists, we do want to be prepared. On an ongoing basis, Rose Haven will review recommendations from our local and state Health Departments as well as the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
We recognize that this emerging outbreak may be especially difficult for people who are unhoused, as they often have underlying medical conditions, and sometimes have substance and mental health issues that can complicate their ability to protect themselves.
We will provide additional general illness precautions and education onsite, and continue to maintain vigilant disease prevention practices, including the cleaning of our shelter with hospital grade cleaning products on a daily basis.
In the event that someone in the Rose Haven community exhibits signs of illness we will work with our onsite nurses, community partners and hospitals to ensure they are examined in a timely manner, and take any onsite precautions necessary to ensure our facility is safe for continued service.
Here are CDC’s recommendations to prevent the spread of contagious respiratory illnesses, including the coronavirus and flu:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues directly in a wastebasket.
- Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands, if you do not have a tissue.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available—dispensers located in the hallway and activity areas.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people and if you are sick, stay home to recover.
Conversations about how to deal with a possible outbreak will be ongoing, and Rose Haven will be diligent in ensuring that we have correct plans and systems in place if the coronavirus were to spread to the homeless community. We are grateful for the support of our board members from Legacy Health and Providence Health Systems who have access to infectious disease experts during this important time. In addition we are sharing best practices amongst social service agencies in the area.
As always, we are asking volunteers who are under the weather to please stay home and take themselves. We will continue to reach out to volunteers to keep you all informed. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask questions.