To Our Community-
For more than 40 years the Center has supported the health and wellness of the most marginalized. We understand there is increasing concern amid the Coronavirus outbreak and we want to assure you that the health and safety of our clients, staff, and community are of paramount importance. We are closely monitoring the situation and following the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the State and County Departments of Public Health. The latest guidance specifically recommends that groups most at risk for contracting COVID-19 – including older adults, those living with HIV, and others — avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more through the end of March. Public Health has asked that all community members avoid gatherings of 250 or more and practice social distancing.
In light of the new guidance we wanted to share with you what we are doing to protect community members and staff. Effective today, the Center is suspending all peer based discussion groups, community programming, and events at all locations at least through the end of March. This includes groups who have rented space, who will be offered a refund.
Specifically, the following are cancelled or will be postponed:
- Host Home Informational Session– March 18, 2020
- LGBTQ Youth Health Fair – March 20, 2020
- Host and Mentor Training – March 22, 2020
- Healing Circle – March 24, 2020
- Book Club: Carry On – March 25, 2020
- Get Centered Tour – March 28, 2020
- Transgender Day of Visibility Events – March 28, 2020
- SacQUEERmento Census Kickoff Event – April 1, 2020
- Q-Prom 2020 – April 3, 2020
- All external outreach and training sessions will be postponed
- Adult drop-in respite will be suspended through April 3, 2020
The following services will be modified as follows:
- The Q-Spot Youth Center will be open 7-days from 12-6 p.m. for the most vulnerable youth experiencing homelessness
- Community Resource Referrals, individual support, and survival supplies will be available by phone at (916) 442-0185 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- HIV/STI testing will be available by appointment only 12-4 p.m. M-F
- Census Questionnaire Assistance Center will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Two cyber center computer stations will be available 6 feet apart
- 12-step recovery groups should check with their group secretaries week by week
- Our 24-hour shelter and transitional living homes will remain open with enhanced cleaning protocols
At all facilities, we have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting for the protection of staff, clients and guests. As a community that knows how to care for one another, we ask that you help ensure the health and safety of our community with these actions:
- We have asked that any staff, clients, volunteers, or community members who are not feeling well, to please stay home and all non-essential staff will telecommute through the end March
- All travel, conference participation, and external in-person meetings for staff have been suspended
- Enhanced cleaning protocols have been instituted to disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as door handles, buttons, light switches, tables, faucets and counter tops, stair rails, copiers and printers at our main office and housing facilities.
- Handwashing signs have been posted in all bathrooms and kitchens.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in common areas.
- Surgical masks will be provided to anyone who presents with symptoms and directed for medical advice. (healthy people are not advised to wear masks)
- We are looking into virtual options for discussion groups to connect and will be on contact with facilitators with next steps.
The virus mainly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet) when an infected person coughs or sneezes and respiratory droplets from that person land in the mouth or nose or are possibly inhaled into the lungs of another person. It may also be possible that a person can get the virus by touching something that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but experts don’t believe this is the main way the virus spreads and not enough is known about how long the virus can live on surfaces.
The public health community is unified in the understanding that there are a number of basic precautions we can all take to prevent illness. These include:
- If you are sick, especially if you have a fever, are coughing or sneezing or are experiencing shortness of breath, please stay home and contact your medical provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, you can contact the Center for a list of LGBTQ-affirming medical providers in the region.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or into your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use alcohol based hand gel that is at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth when you cough with your elbow, and don’t touch your face, eyes, or mouth (event at home).
Though these actions have been difficult decisions, I am inspired by so many in our community who have offered to help and shared information. We will continue to assess the health risks and guidance from public health authorities with the goal of restarting all programs as soon as it is safe to do so. We are committed to keeping your Center and the LGBTQ+ community safe and healthy and will continue to keep you informed. Thank you for your patience and please take care of yourselves and each other. We look forward to connecting again very soon.