The Gray House Response to COVID-19
Our primary concern is the well-being of our staff, volunteers and those we serve. We have put in place preventative measures to protect against COVID-19.
The Gray House is making certain that bathrooms, surfaces and touch points (door knobs, railings, light switches, phones, computer equipment etc.) are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
If any volunteers staff or clients are suspected to be sick, they will be asked to leave the premise.
Kids’ Club and Adult Education are temporarily closed. As of right now, they will resume on 4/6/20. The Gray House will continue providing emergency food. A new system to limit contact is outlined below.
No more than 10 individuals will be in the building. Only staff and volunteers scheduled will be permitted in the building. Any unexpected visitors will be communicated with via the intercom system and will not be permitted inside the building. Donors dropping off food should drive to the bottom of the ramp and open their vehicle door. Volunteers/staff on-hand will bring the items inside and the donor will be asked to shut their vehicle door. Donors will not be permitted to come inside and should not hand off donations to staff or volunteers. No other donations will be accepted at this time.
Precautions for everyone to take:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or inner elbow
- Stay home if you are sick
- Any volunteers, staff, or clients who have vulnerable immune systems or health concerns or are around those who do, should stay home.
- Maintain a distance of one meter between individuals when possible
For the Market:
- All staff and volunteers must wear gloves at all times and avoid touching their eyes, ears, nose.
- All food will be distributed outside and no one, other than the scheduled volunteers and staff, is permitted to enter the building.
- Anyone in a car will be instructed to remain in their car. Tents will be set up at the end of our driveway, closest to the street so that cars can pull up, their name and the number of people in their household will be collected verbally from a distance, car will move forward and one volunteer will open the trunk and another volunteer will place the bags inside the car. The volunteer handling the door will replace their glove after each car. All volunteers will be wearing gloves at all times. As bins get low, volunteers from inside will replenish.
- For clients walking in, the same process will be followed but their individual bags will be placed on a pallet by the volunteer and the client will take the bags from the pallet. There will be a barrier set up to ensure that distance is kept between individuals.
- Maximum of 2 volunteers will be in the normal pantry area bagging meat/dairy throughout the day
- Maximum of 4 total volunteers will be in the classrooms bagging non-perishables throughout the day
- Maximum of 5 volunteers will be outside doing the distribution
- These visits will not count against their 12 visits/year and no paperwork will be collected.
In addition, the following letter was given to Kids’ Club parents:
We are writing to you today with information and guidance regarding the new coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, first identified in late December 2019.
Risk to Massachusetts residents remains low according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The populations most at risk are the elderly and those with existing medical conditions. Children are considered low risk.
However, we are still preparing and planning for impact from the COVID-19 virus. Our program leaders are in close communication with the local board of health and the Department of Early Education and Care as new information becomes available.
As you may be aware, COVID-19 is spread through close person-to person contact. As a result, we ask that you please notify us if any member of your household has recently traveled to a Level-3 country (the list can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html) or experienced any other potential exposure risk.
We also ask that you to keep your child at home if:
- Your child is exhibiting symptoms including fever or cough;
- Someone in your home is exhibiting symptoms; or
- Someone in your home has been in close contact with a person who is showing signs of being sick.
We are working closely with staff to ensure that they are following the same guidelines. We are also emphasizing good handwashing routines with our children. Additionally, we are working diligently to fully clean and sanitize our classrooms regularly.
Our program will operate on our normal schedule unless we receive guidance from our local board of health that we need to temporarily close. If that decision is made, we will reach out as soon as possible.
You can find more information about how to best protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 on the Department of Public Health’s website: www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus.
We will keep you updated as additional information becomes available.
Kids’ Club Coordinator