March 10 Important COVID-19 Update
From: Dar’Nesha Weary, PNA Executive Director
An update about schedule and activity changes in response to COVID-19 outbreak.
I want to share some important updates with the PNA community regarding our response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The PNA leadership team is meeting daily to assess the situation and make decisions with the health and safety of our members, students, renters, employees, and community foremost in our mind. At this time, King County Public Health is not recommending business and school closures, so we have chosen to remain open. This continues to be a difficult and complex decision, and we are aware of differing opinions within our PNA community.
Even in the midst of differing viewpoints, you have all been so very gracious and understanding as we seek to make significant decisions with limited information. Please know the PNA staff and Board are grateful for your prayers for wisdom and your support. This community is one of the great strengths of the Phinney Neighborhood Association, and that strength is magnified in times of trial.
While the PNA remains open, we are making some significant adjustments and preparations to care for our community and to do our part in helping prevent further spread of the disease.
CHANGES TO PNA EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
- All PNA facilities will continue operations at this time. This includes the Phinney Center main campus and the Greenwood Senior Center.
- All PNA classes and programs will continue operations at this time.
- All PNA events will be canceled or postponed through March 31, 2020. This includes:
- March 13 Phinney Center Gallery Opening Reception (as previously announced)
- March 21 Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op Gently Used Kids’ Gear Sale
- March 27 Bingo Karaoke
- March 28 Holi Festival of Colors
- All Coffee & Chat sessions with Executive Director Dar’Nesha Weary
- All ticket payments to Bingo Karaoke and Holi Festival of Colors will be fully-refunded. Please expect 5-10 business days for refund processing.
- The PNA will attempt to make every effort to reschedule the affected events to another date.
- This closure does not include non-PNA sponsored activities. Please consult specific hosting/sponsoring parties for availability and refund policies.
- PNA rental services will continue operations.
- PNA-affiliated preschool co-ops will continue operations.
- Whittier Kids Preschool and Before-/After-school programs will continue operations and follow the closure guideline issued by the Seattle Public Schools.
- The PNA Hot Meal Program will continue as scheduled.
The Greenwood Senior Center (GSC) remains open and operational. However, please contact the GSC on the availability of specific classes, events, and programs. The Seattle-King County Public Health has recommended that people at higher risk of severe illness avoid large gatherings, we are seeking to minimize gatherings of individuals in our immediate community. We are being mindful that our GSC community population is at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. At the same time, PNA understands the critical nature of staying operational to support to our senior community and their families, and we will make every effort to remain open.
We will continue to evaluate the events and activities scheduled after March 31 (including the Annual Auction), basing our decisions on public health authorities’ guidance and the circumstances.
As always, community health and well-being remain our top priority. Our staff is working hard to minimize disruption to services and keep the community calm and reassured while following our High Alert NPI protocols for communication, cleaning, gathering, and sharing materials.
OTHER MEASURES WE ARE TAKING
Cleaning protocols: As mentioned in prior communication we have increased disinfecting cleaning of all horizontal surfaces, such as desks, chairs and countertops, in addition to door handles and other frequently touched surfaces. PNA teachers are building in additional time for frequent hand washing and gel in/gel out protocols for rooms without sinks.
Precautionary adjustments: The PNA has enacted several changes as a precautionary measure, and we will continue to monitor the situation and make additional changes. For instance, at the PNA Village, we are prioritizing member services to essential medical- and grocery- related services only. The PNA will attempt to keep providing services to serve our community while staying mindful of the safety and care of our staff, volunteers, members, and community.
Whittier & PNA Co-op staff/student absences: We are tracking illnesses and attendance of staff, volunteers, and young students on a daily basis in all locations and schools. Please know, if you choose to stay home we are supportive of that decision, please notify Whittier Kids or your affiliated preschool co-op Chair of your decision and please refer to our “Stay Home if You are Sick” policy if you have any question about whether you or your child should come to school.
Visitors: To minimize the risk of spreading the virus, we are asking anyone who has a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, OR has traveled to Mainland China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, France, Germany, Spain, and Japan in the last 14 days to not enter any PNA facility on our campuses.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Most importantly, if you are sick, stay home and seek medical attention.
- Be educated about how to maintain healthy habits, including covering coughs and sneezes and washing hands often for 20 seconds.
- Practice responsible use and consumption of social media. Sharing inaccurate information can create anxiety and further complicate an already challenging public health situation.
- Support the PNA. The continued support of the PNA is growingly critical as we cancel or postpone our fundraising events. Your support helps keep our services open for our community to those most affected such as the GSC Parkinson’s and mental illness support groups, the PNA Village, and the Hot Meal Program. You can donate here.
- Read our email updates, and refer to our COVID-19 Infirmation Page for additional information, resources, and prior communication related to the novel coronavirus.
Finally, even more so in times of trial and anxiety, reach out to your neighbors during this time. Get to know them. Ask them how you can help out. Start a text chain! Get connected now so that if additional service disruption or closure is mandated, we are able to help each other out when things get more difficult. Let’s turn our frustrations with the current situation into something really good.
PNA Executive Director