The Link's COVID-19 Update
From: Beth Holger, CEO
Announcement RE: The Link’s Statement and Plan for Adhering to the Minnesota Department of Health’s Guidelines by Reducing and Slowing the Spread to COVID-19
The Link’s priority has always been and continues to be the safety and well-being of our youth and young family program participants, youth and adult staff, volunteers, Board of Directors, donors and partners. We will be taking all of the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health as well as additional measures to ensure the safety of everyone and to do our part of slowing the spread of COVID-19 / coronavirus.
The Link is an organization that is on the front lines, is open 24/7 and provides crisis response to some of the most vulnerable in our community including youth and young families experiencing homelessness; sex trafficking; child abuse and neglect; and youth involved in the child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems. That said we cannot close or shut down our organization as that would have an incredibly negative impact the youth and young families that rely on us and for our larger community. We will, however, make any and all accommodations and changes to ensure that we are providing all safety precautions to do our part in helping to reduce and slow the spread of COVID-19/coronavirus.
The Minnesota Department of Health Recommendations are:
- Cancel or postpone gatherings of more than 250 people
- Cancel or postpone smaller events that do not allow 6 feet of social distancing between people
- Limit attendance to smaller groups of people less than 10 people who are at higher risk (elderly and people with underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to viruses).
- People who are 70 and older or who have underlying medical conditions (minority of the population) should isolate themselves as much as possible. Children and teens are at a low risk.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Employers making teleworkers for work that can be done remotely.
- Employers staggering work schedules and limiting non-essential work travel.
- Cover your cough/sneezes, avoid touching eyes/nose/mouth, washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water
- Do not buy an overabundance or “stockpile” items such as toilet paper and other items as it then makes it difficult for others to get the amount of supplies they need.
The Link has made the following changes based on these recommendations:
- We will be postponing all large scale events over 250 people including our Annual Event that was scheduled for April 23rd. A separate email will be going out to those who have already registered.
- We will be canceling or rescheduling all non-essential meetings and projects (meaning that they are not required for our day to day operations).
- We will be canceling or rescheduling field trips and activities for youth and young families.
- We will have essential meetings with youth program participants and/or youth and adult staff in places that accommodate social distancing of 6 feet between people and also utilize technology such as our conference call line when possible.
- We have individualized program plans for each site based program (JSC, Lindquist Apartments and Passageways along with our shared houses) to ensure youth are able to be isolated if they come into contact with COVID19.
- We will not be having volunteers come into any of the programs to do group activities or individual volunteer work with youth until 4/1/20.
- We will not be giving any tours of our programs until 4/1/20.
- All staff that are able to complete their job duties remotely have the option of working from home until 4/1/20.
- We have contingency staffing plans in place for all of our programs.
- The Link is taking extra cleaning precautions at all of its locations.
The Link also greatly appreciates all of the partnerships and support within our local, state and national community and is actively working with these partners to advocate for much needed additional resources to support these young people during this time (and always).
Questions should be directed to Beth Holger, CEO, via cell at 612-636-4260.
Additional Information / Resources:
651-201-3920 Coronavirus Hotline