On March 9, Governor Gina M. Raimondo declared a State of Emergency in Rhode Island. A series of preparedness and response measures have been announced. In addition, given the higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness among older individuals, specific guidance has been issued for this population.
Yesterday, the Governor reinforced the importance of following CDC guidance, including the recommendation that older adult’s practice social distancing (of 6 feet or more) and avoid gatherings of more than 10 individuals.
Today, we met with Director of the Office of Healthy of Aging and Dr. MacDonald from the RI Department of Health for more specific guidance. The following reflects our plan moving forward for the immediate future based on this conversation and their recommendations:
Beginning tomorrow, March 13, 2020, the Edward King House Senior Center will be closed to its membership and the public until further notice as suggested by the state leadership. This closure is not mandated and at this time no one within the EKH community has been directly impacted. We are doing so out of an abundance of caution to help mitigate the potential impact of large gatherings and to protect our senior community’s health and well-being.
This being said, you will find that the building will be closed. Our staff, however, will be manning our phone lines for questions, concerns and a resource for public information. In addition, our staff will be making wellness phone calls to our membership and seniors in the community throughout the duration. Please do not come to the Center. We are taking this time to man our phones and to conduct a deep, deep clean of the entire building from ceiling to floor.
Again, all enrichment programs, groups and events have been temporarily suspended. We will provide you with an updated calendar as we progress through this time period. We realize that many people are concerned and that there is a great deal of misinformation circulating and we would like to stress the importance of utilizing legitimate resources to make informed decisions.
So why are we doing this, it is not because there is reason for panic. We are engaging in this closure in an effort to delay the possible spread of this contagion by keeping people away from each other, We have a chance to help more people effectively and not overwhelm hospitals and infrastructure. We all have a role to play in keeping each other safe and healthy. This is our response toward that end.
We promise to keep in touch along the way to keep you informed. You can expect phone calls from our staff, up to date information on our website and social media as well as eblasts on a regular basis. Please be sure to pay attention to all of them. In addition, we encourage you to stay connected to local media and especially the city or town website in which you live.
For you own personal safety, we ask you to do the following:
1. Stay home as much as possible, avoid crowds and for us that means groups of 10 people or more
2. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands
3. Be sure to have on hand enough necessary medications for the coming 2 weeks
4. Stay connected to family, friends and community resources (including your health provider) by phone
5. Make a plan to ensure that you have the items necessary to support you in the event you should get sick –
Be sure to have our phone number next to or in your phone. We will be manning our phones from 9am to 3pm Monday through Friday for the next 2 weeks. Our voicemail will also be engaged in the event you need to leave a message. In the event of an emergency, please dial 911.
· 401-846-7426 ext 1 – Executive Director
· 401-846-7426 ext 2 – Program Manager
· 401-846-7426 ext 4 – Assistant Director
We look forward to talking with you and as always stay home, stay warm and stay safe.