The world is facing an unprecedented challenge with COVID-19 (Coronavirus),. Given the global concerns regarding the pandemic, we want to share the precautions that Star House is taking to keep our team, guests, volunteers and partners safe and healthy. This post is updated regularly with new information. Please check back often for updates.
As you may know, COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. Global efforts at this time are focused on lessening the spread and impact of the virus. We are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and other city, state and federal health agencies and partners for up-to-date information. We are taking the following steps, based on those inputs, to protect our guests, staff and limited visitors from the spread of infection.
· New service hours: We have adopted new hours. Star House's drop-in center is open for services between 10:30pm and 2pm.
· Building admittance: We are taking the temperature of everyone (guests, staff, partners) entering the building and assessing COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone with a fever will be referred to medical services. Guests who are referred to medical services will receive a "survival pack" that includes water, food, supplies and a bus pass, if needed. COTA is now offering free transportation.
· Facility sanitation: We are increasing the frequency of cleaning high-touch areas in the common areas, such as door handles, using disinfectants proven effective against COVID-19. Safe food handling procedures in the kitchen are being heavily enforced. The kitchen is being wiped down throughout the day, including surfaces, knobs, and handles. Guests are required to wear gloves and food sharing is limited. Additionally, we are increasing the deployment of anti-bacterial hand sanitizers throughout Star House. Clean Turn deep cleans and sanitizes the drop-in center daily.
· COVID-19 Training and Precautions: We are educating staff and guests on COVID-19 symptoms and the following recommendations for preventing the spreading of germs. 1) Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 2) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you sneeze or cough. 3) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 4) Stay home if you are sick. 5) Keep a safe six-foot distance from others to prevent disease spread. 6) If you are ill, seek medical advice without delay.
· On-site volunteers and agency partners: Non-health-related partners and volunteer visits are suspended until further notice. All non-essential activities, e.g., art, yoga, etc., are cancelled until further notice. Medical, mental health and food services will continue. For the time being, on-site medical services provided by Nationwide Children's Hospital and Primary One will continue. MidOhio Foodbank is our food delivery partner.
· Food donations: Food will be accepted from MidOhio Foodbank and approved restaurants. We will not accept food from individuals. Please contact donations@StarHouse.us with questions. Youth are permitted to take one container of food with them per day when they leave the facility.
· Item donations: At this time, we are no longer accepting in-person drop-off donations from individuals. We are only accepting new items through the mail until further notice. For example, we can accept orders made and sent via sources like Amazon, Target or Walmart. We will follow health experts’ advice to open packages as usual and wash hands immediately afterwards. Our COVID-19-specific Amazon wish list is here. Our general Amazon Wish list is here. Monetary donations can be made here. Please contact donations@StarHouse.us with questions.
We will continue to monitor the situation, assess the risks, and implement changes to ensure the highest level of safety. Thank you for doing your part to help ensure you and others are safe.
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