DOROT Cancels Passover Package Delivery and all In-home Visits
March 17, 2020
Dear DOROT Volunteer,
Thank you for signing up for DOROT’s Passover Package Delivery. It is with deep appreciation and sincere disappointment that we write to inform you that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the program this year given federal, state and local public health mandates on the Coronavirus outbreak and the importance of social distancing.
To ensure the safety of both seniors and volunteers during this unsettling time, DOROT is developing a new Caring Calls Program to be able to continue our vital work of bringing the generations together and creating social connections without home visits. This will be an opportunity for volunteers to call DOROT elders on a one-time or regular basis for meaningful conversations. Please be on the lookout for additional emails from DOROT with information about how you can get involved and register for this new initiative.
Your service to the DOROT community is especially important right now. We could not fulfill our mission without the help of volunteers like you. Thank you!
With my best wishes to stay safe and healthy,
Mark L. Meridy
DOROT On-Site Programs Cancelled Until Further Notice
March 11, 2020
Dear DOROT Community,
Out of an abundance of caution and respect for valued seniors and volunteers who come through our doors every day, DOROT has temporarily cancelled all on-site programming at our offices on the Upper West Side and in Westchester due to the increasing incidence of Coronavirus.
This decision was not made lightly. However, as the senior population is the highest risk group for suffering serious consequences from contracting COVID-19, we felt this was the most responsible thing to do. The suspension of on-site programming will begin tomorrow, Thursday, March 12, and remain in effect until further notice.
All home-based programming including the Friendly Visiting Program will continue for now. We will inform you immediately if any scheduling changes are made to these programs. Please know how important it is that you do not visit older adults in the DOROT community or in your own circle of family or friends if you are not feeling well.
The health and well-being of the DOROT community of seniors, volunteers and staff is our top priority. While we know of no one in our community who has been affected, we believe it is prudent to take this precautionary measure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider older adults and those with chronic health issues such as lung or heart disease, diabetes, cancer or a weakened immune system to be particularly vulnerable. We urge you to follow these guidelines:
- Wash your hands with soap and water on a regular basis
- Avoid large public gatherings, especially in poorly ventilated spaces
- Do not use public transportation, especially if crowded
- Do not travel on cruise ships or internationally
- Keep in touch with family and friends by phone and email
- Make arrangements for back-up care in case a primary caregiver becomes sick
- Keep the phone numbers of doctors or medical providers handy or call 311 if necessary
Please call (212) 769-2850 if you would like to speak to a social worker. DOROT offices remain open and fully staffed. We are here to serve you. We will keep you informed of decisions affecting our programming as they are made.
Mark L. Meridy
Coronavirus Prevention at DOROT
March 6, 2020
Dear DOROT Community,
As the Coronavirus continues to dominate the news, causing many people to feel anxious, we would like to assure you that DOROT is taking every precaution to help safeguard the safety and well-being of our community.
DOROT is committed to maintaining the important connections you have with staff, volunteers and peers and to serving our community with extra respect and compassion. At the moment, there is no indication that we should adjust or suspend upcoming events or activities. Our doors at DOROT are open on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Westchester and our in-home visiting programs will continue. We will keep you updated if these plans change.
In the meantime, we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of the DOROT community. We are following the protocols of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York City Department of Health and the New York City Department for the Aging and are taking our cues from them. In addition, our Senior Management team meets daily to assess new information and plan for different scenarios in the event New York City and Westchester are confronted with growing severity.
Most importantly, if you are not feeling well or have traveled to any of the countries on the CDC Travel Watch List in the last few weeks, please do not come to DOROT for programs or welcome volunteers into your home. Please call DOROT staff or your volunteer friend directly to immediately reschedule planned home visits.
Even if you are feeling well, we encourage you to take these general precautionary measures:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your face, most notably your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or preferably a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Avoid handshakes or hugs; replace them with a soft elbow bump if desired.
- Have the phone number of your physician readily available or call 311 for medical support
Should the Coronavirus outbreak warrant changes to our programs or new protocols, we will notify you immediately. Please know that if you are feeling anxious and would like to talk to a DOROT social worker, you can call 212-769-2850. We are here to support you as we do every single day.
Mark L. Meridy