During this challenging time related to the COVID-19 pandemic, CARITAS is more committed than ever to providing compassion and support to our most vulnerable community members. We want to inform you of the precautions CARITAS is taking amid the pandemic facing our community as well as share updates about our programs and procedures.
The safety of our clients, staff, volunteers and visitors is our highest priority. We take our role very seriously as we care for a vulnerable group of people within various communal settings. We are working closely with our various partners to establish and maintain protocols for COVID-19. We are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia state mandates.
Please continue to read this update with news, information, and ways to engage. We will update this page regularly throughout the pandemic.
Positive Updates at CARITAS
We are pleased to share some of the following positive news related to our mission and programs at CARITAS:
- The majority of our staff has been vaccinated!
- CARITAS is working! Some staff are working remotely or at different program locations at this time. Please use staff cell phone numbers if available and be patient with delays in phone message and email response times.
- We’ve moved into the CARITAS Center! We are taking our time settling in and following precautions.
- CARITAS has had no reduction in force.
Precautions at CARITAS
While our classrooms, restrooms, living spaces and offices have always been cleaned regularly, we are taking the following additional steps to ensure clients, staff, volunteers and visitors remain safe:
- Increasing the number of hand-sanitizing stations.
- Escalating cleaning procedures using CDC-approved disinfectants multiple times each day in high-touch areas such as restrooms, door handles, telephones and eating surfaces.
- Displaying CDC hand-washing guidelines in our restrooms and ensuring our employees have the information and resources they need to stay healthy.
- All onsite program staff are wearing protective equipment such as disposable gloves, masks, and face shields.
- Allowing telecommuting for employees not required to work on-site.
- Reducing large in-person meetings for our board and staff.
- Adjusting PTO to accommodate any staff who require additional sick time.
- Practicing social disitancing while on site.
- We’ve installed plexiglass shields at common reception areas throughout our buildings.
Programmatic Adjustments at CARITAS
We are working to adjust our programmatic procedures as well. Some other program adjustments include:
- The Healing Place for Men and Men’s Shelter are accepting new intakes.
- All on-site volunteering is paused. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- We continue to support the clients of our essential community partners with limited Furniture Bank shopping.
- Monitoring the temperatures of all essential staff, incoming residents, and guests
- Point-of-entry screening includes temperature monitoring, sympton screening, sign-in, and mandatory face masks.
- Testing residents with the help of Daily Planet Health Services, which has extended its hours. If a resident tests positive for COVID-19, the participant will go to a hotel for quarantine and monitoring.
- Limiting in-person recovery group gatherings in our programs to residents only and participating in all other groups virtually.
- Adjusting sleeping arrangements in the residential recovery program.
- Offering the Family Education Program online via Zoom. Learn more.
- We are offering all of our staff members the vaccine as part of phase 1b vaccination administration by the Virginia Department of Health in partnership with the Daily Health Planet.
Ways You Can Help
- People experiencing homelessness or within 3 days of losing their housing are encouraged to call the Homeless Crisis Line at 804-972-0813.
Thank you for your support and confidence as we navigate this unprecedented landscape. We know this is a rapidly evolving situation, so we will continue to make prudent and necessary updates to our programs to safeguard the welfare of our clients, the community, and the entire CARITAS family.