Dear OAC employee:
Day-to-day life at Open Arms Care looks significantly different today than it did just a week ago. In the past seven days, we have made multiple decisions to further respond to the global coronavirus outbreak. I acknowledge that these are for the most part preventive actions and assure you that each was guided by the advice of public health officials with the goal of doing our utmost to protect our clients, staff and their families from the coronavirus pandemic.
I am grateful to all of you who have responded calmly and rapidly to the tremendous amount of change we are experiencing and will likely continue to experience. Many of the steps we have undertaken are directed at promoting “social distancing.” Public health officials advise that social distancing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19, and that social distancing is essential for our community and nation to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus disease spread.
However, social distancing is also something we all have a responsibility to pursue as individuals in all aspects of our lives, including at home. I ask each of us to play a critical personal role in flattening the curve by bringing social distancing into effect across our entire days.
According to the CDC, social distancing means (where possible):
· Remaining out of congregate settings (restaurants, churches, concerts, movie theatres, etc.)
· Avoiding mass gatherings (greater than 50)
· Maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible
What does this mean for each of us?
· Avoid large gatherings, such as big parties, and other places where you would be crowded together with other people.
· Use technology to keep up with larger groups of family or friends.
· When in public or shared spaces, keep a distance of approximately 6 feet from other people.
· Find safe ways to get physical activity—consider exercising by going for a walk outside or using videos at home to do your favorite workouts.
Social distancing does not mean social isolation or cutting yourself off from people. We should all still communicate regularly, check in on coworkers and friends, and encourage civility, open communication and well-being with our Open Arms Care family. Indeed, our OAC values and culture of cooperation matter more now than ever.
With additional care and good judgment, we can continue to live and work productively. Acting now and doing so in a thoughtful manner will help shorten the time that these measures need to be in place. Social distancing not only protect our clients and ourselves, but just as importantly, they help to protect others.
I know that some or all of these actions might seem purely disruptive and upsetting, and they certainly can be. But taking a step back, I see the extraordinary actions our government agencies, health care providers, businesses, and individuals are undertaking so rapidly as evidence that even in these fractured times we can and will come together to protect the greater good. We will make a difference by making difficult decisions and choices.
My sincere appreciation for you and your dedication to our mission, to our clients, to our employees, and to our broader community.
CEO, Open Arms Care