April 28, 2020

To:  All WACOSA stakeholders

From:  Steve Howard, Executive Director

Re:  Check-in during the COVID-19 crisis

As promised, we will continue to check in with our stakeholders during the current COVID-19 crisis.  First, all of us here at WACOSA hope you continue to remain healthy and are exercising proper practices to protect yourself, clients and family members, during the current pandemic. As the Governor’s deadline of May 4, 2020 approaches, we have no news or information that would lead us to believe we will be reopening at that time.  We continue to anticipate Governor Walz will extend the current stay-at-home order for an additional period, though we still do not know how long that will be.  As with many of you, we were heartened to hear the Governor speak recently of possibly reopening some businesses, provided necessary COVID-19 Preparedness Plans were in place.  To the extent possible, WACOSA is already working to construct such a plan so we can be ready to begin providing at least some services as soon as our segment of community/business operations is authorized to do so.  As promised, we will continue to keep everyone posted regarding WACOSA’s re-opening plans and ask that you monitor our various social media outlets for the timeliest updates related to this process.

Thanks so much for the continued phone calls, Facebook posts and emails reaching out to wish all of us here at WACOSA the best. We miss all of you, as well. To the extent possible, we continue to stay in contact with our various stakeholder groups, as much as possible. For those of you who are interested and able, WACOSA staff will be lining Sundial Drive to wave and say hello to everyone passing by Friday, May 1, 2020 from 1:30pm – 2:00pm.  We would love to give all of our clients, families and friends an “air high-five” or a “wave” from a safe distance.  If you can find time to drive by during this 30-minute period, we would love to see you and say hello.

Finally, If you have not heard, WACOSA is asking that facemasks be donated in anticipation of what we believe will be stricter guidelines for operating once we resume operations.  It is likely many of the procedures currently in place by order of Governor Walz (i.e. PPE, social distancing etc.) will remain in effect well into the future. Given this likelihood, WACOSA is stockpiling as many masks as we can right now in order to make efficient use of this downtime.  Anyone with the ability and equipment to sew, along with the time to devote to the effort is invited to help by sewing masks for WACOSA’s future service needs.  Thanks to all of our supporters who have made masks for us thus far. To date, we have received in excess of 150 masks dropped in our donation basket outside our 310 building (next to our ThriftWorks! store entrance) in Waite Park.  As a reminder, masks can be dropped off Monday – Thursday, 9:00am – 1:00pm.

For now, please continue to stay healthy and safe.  As requested by our health experts, stay home as much as possible to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.  All of us here at WACOSA continue to wish you the best and hope for a speedy end to the current pandemic.