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VOA Today: An Important Update on COVID - 19

March 17, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we continue to monitor the impact of Coronavirus – COVID-19 - our continued concern is the health and safety of every VOA team member and every individual we serve. We are continuing to update our response and want to let you know of additional steps we are taking today to help everyone remain safe and healthy.

  • · We are requiring staff to observe social distancing in ALL situations to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading illness. This is defined by limiting face-to-face contact and maintaining five to six feet distance from others, at all times, even if they do not appear to be ill.
  • We know that school closings may cause child care challenges. Please talk with your supervisor about your specific situation. We are working to determine what resources we can provide to our staff and will share more when information becomes available.
  • We are prohibiting out of state travel until at least April 6. We will re-evaluate that date on April 1.
  • Please cancel all non-essential meetings with external visitors who would be coming to meet you at a VOA facility. If a meeting is essential, please use social distancing – working to keep approximately five to six feet between meeting participants. Meetings should not include more than 20 people.
  • We continue to review work from home on a day-to-day and case-by-case basis. Your supervisor will provide additional guidance on this. There is so much variability in our work and schedules we simply cannot have a uniform approach to this.
  • We are asking employees who cannot continue to perform their current assigned duties and cannot work from home to work in other areas of the agency where staffing needs are essential. Many of our residential programs need assistance caring for the people we serve, and we have a variety of opportunities. Please talk to your supervisor about the opportunities available and to help match you with our important needs.

  • We continue to emphasize hygiene and managers will be responsible for promoting and monitoring cleanliness and hygiene in the workplace. We are working with funders and partners to assure that appropriate supplies are available.
  • Following the health protocols provided in our most recent communication regarding employees who are experiencing symptoms of illness is absolutely essential. Employees are not to report to work if they are experiencing a fever and/or acute respiratory illness symptoms.
  • Below are COVID-19 Hotline phone numbers for each state where we provide services. You may call these numbers to ask questions and obtain more information about COVID-19 specifically for your state.

Kentucky 800-722-5725

Indiana 317-520-5500

Tennessee 877-857-2945

West Virginia 800-887-4304

Thank you again for your attention to these very important health and safety guidelines and your dedication to our mission. I cannot emphasize enough how critical it is that you do your part to maintain good handwashing habits AND maintain social distancing. Our senior team is meeting regularly and Terry Richards is gathering and reviewing guidance from many sources. We will continue to keep you updated.

When I think about our founders and the nearly 125 year history of our organization, I am absolutely confident that we will face this successfully together!

As always, do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Hancock, LCSW | President & CEO

Volunteers of America Mid-States