With increasing concerns around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we would like to provide an update regarding IPM’s efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of all volunteers, clients and staff. It’s important for you to know that IPM Food Pantry is closely following updates regarding this virus and taking proactive steps to do everything possible to protect the health of all involved with IPM. However, IPM also maintains a commitment to continue our mission and provide services to those in need throughout this time.
According to the state health department, there are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Cleveland area. Hamilton County Public Health states there are currently no cases in our area; however, IPM is preparing should this change. We are staying close to information from public health officials from the local, state, and national level, as well as guidance from industry leaders like the Freestore Foodbank and Feeding America. We are prepared to follow their guidance as needed.
Additionally, IPM is taking proactive measures to help stop the spread of germs and illness in our pantries, including ensuring that employees and volunteers have a safe and healthy experience focused around basic hygiene and social distancing precautions. Volunteers and staff are encouraged to follow these basic practices:
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- If soap and running water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into upper sleeves if tissues are not available. Follow up with washing hands or using hand sanitizer, and throw away tissue.
- Wipe down all carts and furniture with sanitizing wipes between pantry guests.
*We are working to ensure that we have ample supplies of hand sanitizer available for employees, volunteers, clients and other visitors so that you can follow these basic precautions.
*In addition, because the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also recommends disinfectants to keep work surfaces, telephones, computer equipment and other frequently touched surfaces clean, we are utilizing disposable wipes to wipe down these surfaces daily. At this time, there is no recommendation for any additional disinfectant beyond routine cleaning.
Please consider the following if traveling:
Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices before any travel and before returning to work or volunteer responsibilities: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
We want to assure you that the health, safety and well-being of all volunteers, clients and staff is a top priority of IPM. As we continue to participate in conversations with local authorities and medical experts, contingency plans may be required.
For more information regarding COVID-19 and how to stop the spread of illnesses, you can view additional resources by visiting Hamilton County Public Health or Clermont County Public Health. Other information can be found below.
http://www.hrxperts.org (HR Central, under OSHA > Infectious Diseases)