To: All WACOSA stakeholders
From: Steve Howard, Executive Director
Re: Update on WACOSA’s services
We felt it time to provide an update to our many WACOSA stakeholders to keep you posted on the state of WACOSA’s services during the current pandemic. First, we at WACOSA hope that everyone is continuing to practice good hygiene, safe social distancing and that everyone is wearing their masks when in proximity to others. WACOSA continues to provide services within the parameters of what state authorities will allow, making programmatic adjustments as rules are either relaxed or tightened. We are exploring options with our state licensors to grant us the maximum amount of flexibility to serve the largest number of clients permissible by law for the longest period possible. Additionally, we are now offering virtual classes online; for more information or to register please follow this link: https://wacosa.org/wacosa-connect/.
As we are all aware, COVID continues to impact our community. As a result, we continue to see an impact to our programs and services. WACOSA has experienced a small number of positive COVID-19 cases and remains in continual contact with representatives of our local and state health organizations to fulfill the requirements for mandatory reporting, conducting contact tracing and notifying individuals of potential COVID exposure. Additionally, we continue to encourage testing for anyone who displays COVID symptoms or has reason to believe they may have been exposed.
To this end, you can help us as we weather this time. Please remember, if you feel ill or are displaying COVID related symptoms, please stay home. If you find it necessary to be tested, please stay home until you receive your test results. It would be unfortunate for any client or staff to return to work too early only to learn they tested positive at an earlier time and have now potentially infected other individuals. Additionally, at this time we have discontinued the use of our microwave ovens and have shut down our on-site vending areas in order to minimize the chance for cross-contamination. When preparing lunches for those who attend work, please be sure that lunches are packed so that clients are completely self-sufficient. We regret we are presently unable to offer many aspects of meal preparation and assistance it has been our pleasure to provide in the past. While we expect this practice will not be permanent, for the time being, it is the best way to ensure our work/program environment is kept as safe and sanitary, as possible.
Our fast-approaching winter will likely bring with it an increased chance of COVID transmission, given the likelihood of Minnesotans spending more time in doors and in closer proximity to one another. As we have always done, we will continue to keep you posted as new developments occur. We thank you for your patience during this time and encourage you to reach out to one of WACOSA’s Administrative Team members should you have questions. Additionally, please continue to monitor WACOSA’s various points of social media including our website (www.wacosa.org), our Facebook page and our recorded phone line for the most up-to-date information we can share regarding our services at this time. While pandemic fatigue is making it harder for many individuals to stay the course practicing good COVID prevention techniques, please continue to be diligent in your disease prevention measures. We will see each other through to better times. Of this, we at WACOSA have no doubt.