To Clients and Partners of Safe Haven of Pender and their Family/Household Members:
As the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues in the United States, we have all encountered disruptions to our daily activities. However, we would like to assure you that during this crisis, Safe Haven of Pender is continuing our efforts to serve our community through our domestic violence shelter and crisis hotline. We know that you may be concerned about the spread of COVID-19. Ensuring that clients and families are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our greatest concern here at Safe Haven of Pender.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we are implementing to help reduce the potential for the virus to spread. However, we need your help in battling COVID-19. Below are some examples of how you can help protect yourself, your loved ones, and caregivers, as well as prevent the spread throughout the community.
Staff from Safe Haven of Pender might ask clients about:
- Travel within the last 14 days to areas with sustained community transmission. For updated information on affected countries visit this link.
- Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a fever, cough, and sore throat.
- Contact within the last 14 days with someone with or under investigation for COVID-19, or are ill with respiratory illness.
- Residing in a community where a community-based spread of COVID-19 is occurring.
To protect your health, the staff of Safe Haven of Pender who have signs and symptoms of respiratory infection is not permitted to report to work. For shelter residents, visits from family members and friends are not allowed during this sensitive time. We understand that connecting with loved ones is incredibly important, and there are a variety of other ways you might consider connecting with them. These may include telephone, email, text, or through Skype or Facebook. Let us know how we can help facilitate communication.
To protect our clients, staff, and the community, Safe Haven is providing COVID-19 prevention supplies at our shelter and promoting the practice of everyday preventive actions. We have supplies on hand for staff, volunteers, and those we serve; such as soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol, tissues, trash baskets, and face masks. We have also put a plan in place in case of staff and volunteer absences.
Safe Haven of Pender is prepared to report cases of respiratory illness that might be COVID-19 to our local health department. If the need should arise, we have established procedures for transporting persons with severe illness to medical facilities, as well. We have identified space within the shelter that can be used to accommodate clients with mild respiratory symptoms and to separate them from others.
For our clients at home, if you should develop respiratory illness symptoms or are diagnosed with COVID-19; the CDC has released recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers who interact with a patient in a non-healthcare setting, such as your home. You may want to share these with your family, friends, and visitors:
- Make sure that they understand and can help you follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for the medication(s) and care. They can help with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs.
- If you have any symptoms of respiratory illness, call your healthcare provider. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected.
- Household members should stay in another room or be separated from you as much as possible. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.
- Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home.
- Household members should care for any pets in the home. Do not handle pets or other animals while sick.
- Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good airflow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting.
- Perform hand hygiene frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid sharing household items. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After you or visitors use these items, they should wash them thoroughly.
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
- Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product.
- Wash laundry thoroughly. Safe Haven of Pender is following the recommendations of the CDC on prevention steps, including following strict handwashing procedures and safety measures at the shelter. We also are following CDC recommendations as they are updated.
Our Pender County officials are in close contact with the local and state health departments and are following their guidance. We are notifying our staff and vendors of the symptoms of COVID-19 with a request that visitors do not enter our buildings at this time. We will notify you if any clients, families, volunteers, or staff are diagnosed with COVID-19.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Safe Haven of Pender by emailing [email protected]. For additional information, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus disease information page. Thank you for trusting us to serve our community during this critical time.
Safe Haven of Pender