IINE COVID-19 STATUS: 3/16/2020

IINE community – thank you for stepping up, being flexible and making public health a priority. Here is a quick update on our organization-wide response to Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • All employees are working remotely. Please see most recent communication from Shayne regarding access to G Drive, VPN, and other technical issues.
  • IINE clients and students have been contacted by staff. Each site is working on coverage plans and task fulfillment to ensure critical services are being met.
  • Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all employees who have any personal contact with clients or other employees will be required to submit this form for EACH incidence of contact.
  • Clients & students and all public inquiries are being directed to the main phone numbers for each site. Boston: 617.695.9990, Lowell: 978.459.9031, and Manchester: 603.647.1500

Employees

Employees - Click here to read more

Our highest priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our clients and staff. To that end, IINE will shift to remote management of or suspension of all in-person, client-facing classes, programs, and activities immediately, continuing through the end of next week, Friday, March 20, with some exceptions explained below. We are asking all employees to work remotely, starting tomorrow (Friday, March 13) to the extent possible.

If you are needed in the office for any reason, your supervisor will contact you. Additionally, each supervisor will send a detailed, individualized work plan to every individual they supervise that describes the work you are to do next week.

You must bring your IINE laptop and charger home with you to access IINE’s drives remotely. If you need to enter the offices tomorrow (Friday, March 13) to retrieve your laptop and other items, you may do so, as long as you are not feeling any symptoms of Covid-19 and you notify your supervisor.

We are mindful that many of our clients are in vulnerable circumstances, and we want to provide continuous remote support and return to on-site services as soon as we can. Our current plan is that the suspension of client-facing service activities will last through next Friday, March 20. We will, however, revisit the status of the coronavirus spread and our response during the next week and will communicate any changes to our plan to everyone by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

The Managing Directors and our Chief Program Officer, Xan Weber, are working on plans to provide services to clients remotely and online to the extent possible. We also are making a plan to call, update and provide coronavirus information to all clients for whom we have contact information. We will make every attempt to be a resource during this confusing time, and we ask for your flexibility as we work out how to do this.

Some positions and activities require continued, limited on-site work and client interaction. Your supervisor will contact you if this is necessary. If you are in this position, please use the following enhanced protocol when on-site or working with clients:

  • Starting March 17, 2020 all employees must complete this questionnaire before visiting an IINE office, meeting in-person with another INE staff member, or meeting in-person with a client (or clients).
  • Social Distancing: please leave at least six feet between you and others when onsite and follow other guidance
  • Frequent handwashing and sanitizing of your work area
  • Do not gather on-site in large groups

Interns

Interns - Click here to read more

Our highest priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our clients, staff, and interns. To that end, IINE will shift to remote management of or suspension of all in-person, client-facing classes, programs, and activities immediately, continuing through the end of next week, Friday, March 20, with few exceptions. Our employees will begin working remotely, starting tomorrow (Friday, March 13).

We are mindful that many of our clients are in vulnerable circumstances, and we want to provide continuous remote support and return to on-site services as soon as we can. Our current plan is that the suspension of client-facing service activities will last through next Friday, March 20. We will, however, revisit the status of the coronavirus spread and our response during the next week and communicate any changes to our plan.

As a result of this shift in our service delivery model, and until we we are able to resume our regular in-person programming, we will be suspending all voluntary engagements with IINE, including all internships and volunteer activities and commitments. We continue to be deeply grateful to you for contributing your time, expertise, and energy to improve the lives of the people we serve. Thank you for all that you do to make our services possible and your steadfast advocacy in the community.

If possible, IINE will aim to bring interns back for the remainder of the Spring term upon our return to in-person services. However, we understand that many interns may be returning home during this time, and that home itself may not be local. If you find yourself unable to conclude your internship when we return to in-person services, or if you have any questions in the coming weeks, please make sure you are communicating with Molly April, the Intern Programs Manager.

As soon as you read this email, please let your supervisor know where your current projects stand and then set up a temporary away message directing clients and other contacts to connect directly with your supervisor or the main office number. To set up automatic replies, please login via Office 365 (the web app), navigate to “Outlook”, click the gears icon at the top right, and then type in automatic replies in the search field. Unless approved and until further notice, you should not continue doing any additional work for the Institute during this time.

We hope to resume in-person services as soon as possible and we will be sure to continue communicating with the IINE community as the situation and our response evolves. For updated information on our services and the status of our offices, please consult the iine.org website. Additionally, Molly or I will be in touch with relevant updates to the intern program as decisions are made.

Thank you for all you do for our clients, please take care of yourself, and please stay tuned for further updates.

Shayne Kinsella
skinsella@iine.org

Volunteers

Volunteers - Click here to read more

Volunteers play an important role at IINE and we are grateful for all that you add to our work. IINE recognizes that, as cases of COVID 19 (aka the Coronavirus) continue to appear in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and while state and local governments issue new guidelines and recommendations around how to care for yourself and your community, you might have concerns about continuing to participate in your volunteer capacity with non-profits like ours. While we hope that you will continue to work with us during this time, we understand if you wish to postpone any voluntary engagement with the IINE. To help us ensure we are meeting the needs of our clients and avoid any confusion, we do ask that you communicate with IINE if you would prefer not to be contacted to volunteer, or if you wish to be removed from an existing volunteer assignment.

As the CDC and medical community identify additional cases of COVID 19 in the US, we will continue to share information with you about the virus, how IINE is preparing for it, and what you can and should do now to stay healthy and minimize your exposure. Please note that this email and the information contained within are not an exhaustive list of precautions or solutions, and that you should always consult a medical professional for assistance identifying and responding to your medical needs.

Fact Sheets

As the CDC and medical community identify additional cases of COVID 19 in the US, we will continue to share information with you about the virus, how IINE is preparing for it, and what you can and should do now to stay healthy and minimize your exposure. Please note that this email and the information contained within are not an exhaustive list of precautions or solutions, and that you should always consult a medical professional for assistance identifying and responding to your medical needs.

Symptoms

Per the CDC, symptoms of COVID 19 can appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure.

The following are known symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you believe that you may have or have been exposed to COVID 19 you should contact a medical professional and isolate yourself.

You should avoid contact with others for at least 24 hours after the fever has passed and the other symptoms disappeared.

Similarly, if you are caring for or in contact with someone who is sick with COVID 19 or exhibiting symptoms of it, you should avoid contact with others.

If you are exposed to COVID 19, including caring for someone that may have COVID 19, you should not come by any IINE office or participate in any IINE activity. Please notify me and the Managing Director of the site where you typically volunteer.

Key Immediate Resources: Boston, Lowell, Manchester

Local Resources for staff

If you need local resources for clients, please inquire directly to city/town public health hotlines

  • Boston 1-800-847-0710
  • Lowell 978-674-4308
  • Lynn 781-598-4000
  • All of Massachusetts, dial 2-1-1 for public health help and info
  • All of NH, dial 2-1-1 for public health help and info (also 866-444-4211)
  • Nashua 603-589-4512
  • Manchester 603-668-1547

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2020
This fact sheet explains what COVID-19 is, how it spreads, what its symptoms and severe complications are, how to protect yourself, what to do if you are sick, and what to do if you recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Available in EnglishSimplified Chinese, and Spanish.

Steps that IINE has taken to reduce risk of exposure:

Week of March 16

All IINE employees required to work from home.

All person-to-person meetings, classes, activities suspended and adapted to phone or video activities if possible.

Starting March 17, 2020 all employees must complete this questionnaire before visiting an IINE office, meeting in-person with another INE staff member, or meeting in-person with a client (or clients).

Week of March 9

IINE’s Office Managers have been hard at work securing disinfectant wipes and tissues to add to the hand sanitizer available at each site. While these cleaning & hygiene solutions are being made available, please remember that the best precaution remains to carefully and completely wash your hands and to avoid contact with anyone that appears sick. As many of you have likely experienced in your personal lives, some of these supplies are in high demand and wait/restocking times are increasing.

IINE has posted signs at each site in the most common languages spoken/read by our clients; the posters direct anyone exhibiting fever, coughing, or shortness of breath to call the office instead of coming by in person. These instructions are being disseminated through IINE’s website as well.

In line with that policy of asking any sick clients and visitors to call the office, we are asking any volunteers, interns and employees who are sick to refrain from coming by any IINE office. Anyone who starts feeling sick while at an IINE office or activity should leave immediately.

The attached poster and relevant translations will be posted near the entrances of each IINE site in the next day or two. Take a moment to review the information included and ensure you understand the CDC’s recommendations.

We are working to ensure bathrooms and kitchens at each site are being cleaned daily.

Lastly, we are taking 25 minutes at each site to watch a COVID 19 panel recording put out by the Broad Institute. The panel addresses common questions about the virus, how the scientific and medical community is addressing and combating the outbreak, and what individuals should be doing in light of more local outbreaks. If you have the time and want to learn more, you might consider taking a look: https://intranet.broadinstitute.org/news/watch-answering-broadies-questions-about-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR3hzQdMLnXuAAxJB-2Pog7Y9IfxUtBOHIVJ4U5TB0heQNlDgFZdPtCg6Ek

IINE will continue to monitor the situation and update the IINE community as more information becomes available through the CDC, local government, and our partner organizations. In the meantime, we wish everyone good health and ask that you abide by the policies we are enacting to keep our community safe.

If you have traveled to affected areas (see list below) within the last month or plan to travel anytime in the next few weeks:

You must contact me (skinsella@iine.org) before volunteering at any IINE office or participating in any IINE activity if you’ve travelled outside of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or a neighboring state. I’ve been asking the following questions of community members that are returning from a trip to help gauge their exposure risk:

  1. Have you displayed any known symptoms?
  2. Did you come into contact with any one exhibiting any known symptoms?
  3. Do you have any reason to believe you may have been exposed to COVID 19?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you should not come by any IINE office or participate in any IINE activity.

We’ll continue to refine the process and ways we gauge the risk of exposure as more information becomes available and if/when the virus continues to spread. In the meantime, all classes and meetings will continue as scheduled.

What to do in anticipating the spread of COVID 19:

Remember to wash your hands 1) whenever you use the restroom, 2) regularly when you’re sick, and 3) after touching potentially dirty surfaces/devices, 4) prior to eating. Please also make sure you are cleaning your hands well (quality matters as much as consistency). Washing your hands regularly is necessary to  help protect yourself, IINE staff, fellow volunteers, and our clients. For staff, interns, and volunteers, it is especially important to share and model effective practices with clients.

When washing your hands:

1) use soap and water,

2) scrub your hands well, ensuring you get between the fingers, under any rings, and around/under the fingernails (estimated to take 15-20 seconds),

3) dry your hands on a clean paper towel, taking care to use the paper towel to turn off the sink (when applicable).

See this video:

Regular use of hand sanitizer (e.g. Purell) is also recommended.

When sneezing or coughing, be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve. For a review of how to practice good coughing and sneezing etiquette and hygiene, check out this link: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html [cdc.gov]

The CDC has many resources available to individuals, and I encourage you to review these if you have questions. Of particular help are the following three links:

Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs): https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/tools-resources/educational-materials.html [cdc.gov]

Hand hygiene: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/materials.html [cdc.gov] and https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html [cdc.gov]

Other Resources (Languages)+

Coronavirus in 28 languages

Ministry of Health, Ontario, Canada, 2020
The Ministry of Health in Ontario, Canada has developed an information sheet about the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to inform Ontarians about the virus, how they can protect themselves, and what to do if they think they have contracted the virus. Note that these materials include contact information for Canadian health services and would require modifications before sharing with clients in the U.S. We include them here to serve as a starting point for those developing their own translated materials. Available in EnglishArabicBengaliSimplified ChineseTraditional ChineseFarsiFrenchGermanGreekGujaratiHindiItalianKanien’kéha (Mohawk)KoreanNishnaabemwin (Eastern Ojibwe)Oji-Cree, PolishPortuguesePunjabiRussianRomanianSomaliSpanishSwampy CreeTagalogTamilUrdu, and Vietnamese.

Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet

Washington State Department of Health, 2020
This fact sheet outlines the novel coronavirus, how it spreads, how severe it is, the symptoms of the virus, who is at risk of the virus, how people can protect themselves, and how the novel coronavirus is treated. Available in EnglishAmharicArabicSimplified ChineseTraditional ChineseHindiJapaneseKhmerKoreanRussianSomaliSpanishTagalogThai, and Vietnamese.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Facts

San Francisco Department of Public Health, 2020
This fact sheet provides tips to protect community health and prepare for potential illness. Note that these materials include contact information for San Francisco health services and would require modifications before sharing with clients in other locations. Available in EnglishChineseFilipino, and Spanish.

Newly added! COVID-19 Informational Flyer

City of Austin, TX, 2020
This flyer provides information how on COVID-19 spreads, its symptoms, and provides prevention tips. It is available in ArabicBurmese, EnglishSimplified Chinese Traditional Chinese, Korean, SpanishUrdu, and Vietnamese. 

Multimedia Resources

Introductory Video on Coronavirus

World Health Organization (WHO), 2020
This is a five-minute introductory video in English about the novel coronavirus. Captions are available in EnglishArabicFrenchSimplified ChinesePortugueseSpanish, and Russian. To access multi-lingual versions, create a free OpenWHO account. These videos are embedded in 3-hour long self-paced e-learning courses that may also be completed in each language listed above.

Public Service Announcement

Minnesota Department of Health, 2020
This is a 90-second video that provides a brief overview of the novel coronavirus in English. Captioned versions are available in EnglishChinese, and Spanish.

Stop Germs, Stay Healthy!

King County, WA Health Department, 2008
This poster provides steps for correctly washing your hands and preventing the spread of germs. It is available in AmharicArabic, Bosnian, Chinese,  EnglishFarsi, French, Hmong,  Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Nepali, Oromo, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrigna, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. 

Be a Germ-Buster…Wash Your Hands!

Washington State Department of Health, 2015
This poster provides a basic pictorial explanation of how to wash your hands. Available in EnglishArabicBengaliCambodianChineseHindiKoreanNepaleseRussianSpanishTurkishUkrainian, and Vietnamese.

Hand Washing

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2018
This poster illustrates six steps for effective hand washing. It is available in EnglishFrenchKinandeKinyarwanda, and Swahili.

Help Prevent Disease

City of Austin, TX, 2020
This poster provides four steps for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping yourself healthy. It is available in Arabic, Burmese, Simplified ChineseTraditional ChineseEnglishKoreanSpanishUrdu and Vietnamese.

Live Updates

Information on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

World Health Organization (WHO), 2020
On this website, you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of COVID-19. This page provides daily updates in EnglishFrenchSimplified ChineseArabicRussian, and Spanish.

Coronavirus Resource Center

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC provides resources and updates on COVID-19 in EnglishChinese, and Spanish, including How COVID-19 Spreads (EnglishSpanishChinese), Symptoms (EnglishSpanishChinese), Prevention & Treatment (EnglishSpanishChinese), and Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (EnglishSpanish).

COVID-19 Overview

Occupational Safety and Health Adminitration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor

This website, from OSHA at the Department of Labor, addresses COVID-19 concerns related to occupational safety and health. Available in English only.