The Kiwanis Operations Co-ordination Committee met March 16, 2020, to discuss the recent announcements made by Federal, State, and local Health Officials in regard to COVID-19 and actions which should be implemented. Recommended courses of action were discussed, and the Committee decided to make changes to our normal operations to ensure the safety of our Staff, Members, Volunteers, and shoppers.

First, the Kiwanis Sale on Fridays and Saturdays is and will remain closed until further notice. No one should allow shoppers to enter the store or building. This notice should be posted on our Website, Facebook, and other media.

Second, volunteers may come in to work in their departments if they so wish. No one is required to come in to work, and the decision is individual. With that said, do not come in if you or anyone close to you is ill or demonstrating any health symptoms, including but not limited to a fever, cough, trouble breathing, or any other malady or vulnerability. Note, should someone simply have the flu or a bad cold, spreading such endangers others because anyone who comes into contact with COVID 19 while suffering from some other illness may be in even more grave danger than simply being exposed to the corona virus on its own. Persons in any of the high risk groups, that is including older adults, those with pre-existing health issues, persons who care for the young children, the elderly and/or the ill, or have someone in your household who does, or who otherwise matches any of the at-risk groups published by Health officials, should not come in to work, and may be sent home if they do.

Anyone who has traveled recently to or from Center for Disease Control (CDC) Level 3 countries are advised by National Health authorities to self-quarantine and self-monitor for health concerns for 14 days after returning to the US. A hassle, certainly, but only individual action and responsibility will limit risks while no practical ability to test for the virus exists. And if you have someone self-quarantined in your home, most authorities apply that quarantine to everyone in the household.

For those who choose to come in to work, the following will be the only available hours of operation: 9 am to 2 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. No other work times will be permitted without express consent and permission arranged in advance. Note, under the previously approved system for building security, we are proceeding with installation of electronic key fobs, and so very soon you will no longer be able to use a pass key or key code number to enter the building.

Third, because of potential contamination issues, there will be no open donuts or snacks, open or home-made food, or pre-made coffee provided. Sealed packages of snacks will be provided, and the Keurig coffee machine will be available.

Everyone present should be washing hands within the proscribed method, wearing gloves, and/or using hand sanitizer cleaners. Everyone present in the building should act reasonably, and practice good health regimens. That means not congregating in close contact groups. Not shaking hands or giving hugs, even if well deserved. Seeking to maintain safe social distancing practices, which currently include a six-foot separation between people and avoiding large social and work groups.

Mario Gasbarro as Sales Manager and Tanya Salamin as Safety Officer are authorized to give directives and guidance on all practices of employees, volunteers, and members. You may or may not agree with them, but please observe their directives as such will be designed to protect the health of all of us and to follow the directives of the Health authorities.

Lastly, we are exploring various services that enable telephone conferencing amongst groups of people. Thus, we will encourage telephone conferences rather than in-person committee meetings. Information on such will be published when we determine which services will be available. There are several that provide the service without charge. If you do meet, avoid small rooms and close contact seating arrangements. There is a lot of room for social distancing in the cafeteria and, for smaller meetings, the conference rooms.

Of course, all these rules and actions are subject to change based on future directives from Federal, State and local Health Officials and input from the Board and our Kiwanis family.

As for donations, we will continue taking drop-offs at the dock, using Staff, but will suspend pick-ups after we have picked up a few for which we have outstanding commitments.

Be careful and stay safe,

Dan Dever