Local organizations changing the way they interact with clients amid coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The elderly are at high risk during the coronavirus outbreak. State health officials have told people 65 and older to avoid gatherings with lots of people. The message is clear: clean up, pull back and stay safe. “I think the biggest concern is the people we service. Most of them are living with significant vulnerabilities and we want to make sure their health and safety is protected,” said Lee Covington, the president and CEO of Senior Services in Winston-Salem. They’re already putting up a safeguard and changing the way volunteers and employees interact with clients. “We are doing extra cleaning of all our surfaces and facilities,” Covington said. “A lot of the volunteers love to hug the recipients. We’re asking them not to do that and to use hand sanitizer between visits. Just to take those extra precautions.” The organization wants to make sure their programs, like Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Care and Home Services, can keep running despite the coronavirus outbreak and State of Emergency. But it could mean losing something that makes their services so special. “Human connection is one of the best parts of our programs,” Covingotn said. “Certainly, if we get to the place where folks are quarantined, that human connection will be limited.” Another place human connection could disappear: college campuses. Leaders at UNCG and Elon University are talking about online classes, but nothing has been implemented so far.

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North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline: 1-866-462-3821

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