After closing for the holidays and a week of inventory, Neighborhood Connection reopened for onsite services on Monday, January 11th. We are open Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM and the 4th Saturday of the month from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. We both accept donations and welcome clients in for shopping during these hours.
General COVID-related safety guidelines that we have in place include the following:
- Staff, volunteers, clients, and donors over age 60 and those who are medically vulnerable should continue to stay home, thus will be encouraged to continue to stay home and not come in.
- Please follow these procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19
– Social distancing practices will be used throughout the office and store.
– Staff members, volunteers, clients, and donors who have been exposed in the past 14 days or are sick should not come to the building.
– Frequent handwashing and/or use of hand sanitizer is required.
– We will provide masks and gloves for those who need them.
– Cleaning supplies and disposable utensils and cups for the kitchenette will be provided.
– Everyone will be required to wear a face mask when in the building. The only exception is for staff when they are working in their private office and no one else is near them.
– Frequently touched surfaces including door handles, desks/counters, phones, light switches, faucets, kitchenette, coffee bar, and restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
- Instructions on the proper use of face masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies will be provided.
- Staff members, volunteers, and clients who enter and leave the building will sign in and out in case this information is needed for contact tracing.
- We will be open for donations Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.
- Donors should place their items in the purple bins in the lobby. Ideally, only one donor should be in the area at a time. Others will be asked to wait outside for their turn.
- Items stay in the bins for at least 48 hours before being moved to the sorting room for processing.
- During open hours and as weather permits, the inside foyer door will be set to the “open” position to minimize contact with the door handle.
- Our team will work in the office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; they may continue to work at home on Tuesday and Thursday.
- Any meetings with groups larger than 10 people, or fewer if there is no space that will allow for social distancing, will be held online.
- All volunteers must register for shifts online.
- We are limiting the number of volunteers allowed in the building at any one time to five – one in each of the following areas: Welcome Desk, Sorting Room, store, back office, and storage room (downstairs). Note: If family members live together, they can volunteer together in the same area.
- Clients who are older than 60, medically vulnerable, ill, or who have been exposed in the last 14 days can continue to request items for pick-up or delivery rather than coming in to shop.
- Any client who is not feeling well should remain at home and can request items be delivered to them.
- Clients can shop, by appointment, anytime during our open hours. Appointments for shopping can be made online or by calling us at (608)849-5740.
- Client families are asked to send only one family member for shopping, if possible. We realize there may be times when more than one family member needs to look for clothing or other items that only they can select, but we will encourage the families to keep the number low.
- Clients will be required to use hand sanitizer upon registration, before starting shopping.
- If a client touches an item for an extended period or tries on a piece of clothing or an accessory, it should be placed in a designated bin and will not be placed back out on the floor for 48 hours.
If Someone Who Has Been in the Building Becomes Sick
If a staff member, volunteer, client, or donor who has been in the building is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, the following procedures will be followed:
- The impacted individual will have to remain at home until they meet the requirements to discontinue home isolation per CDC recommendations and/or the guidance of their health care provider.
- We will close off any areas that were used by for a prolonged period of time by the individual. After 24 hours, the area will be cleaned and disinfected. Surfaces will be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfecting. The individual(s) cleaning the area will wear gloves and a face mask.
- We will notify others who may have come in contact with the person of their possible exposure, but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Those who may have had contact with the person who do not have symptoms should remain at home and practice social distancing for 14 days.
- We will provide all necessary information to the county public health department for contact tracing, as required.
- We will evaluate staffing and open hours should an illness or exposure leave us too short-handed to remain open.
* * *
All of these procedures will be monitored, evaluated, and updated as guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and state/county public health departments are modified.