COVID-19 Information from the Minnesota Department of Health
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center has been working with the Minnesota Department of Health and several other organizations (Girls Are Powerful, NAACP-Minneapolis Chapter, and the Stairstep Foundation) to do outreach to the African American community about the COVID-19 pandemic and health information necessary to help inform and protect people in the community. New information is being added throughout the month and we are sharing it via social media and our website. Check back frequently for updates.
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center COVID-19 Preparedness Plan*
(current as of May 7, 2020)
PDF Download: HQB COVID19 Preparedness Plan
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center (hereinafter the “Organization” or HQB”) is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our employees, clients and visitors. We have been deemed an essential organization as defined by the federal or state government during this declared National Emergency. In order to be safe and maintain operations, we have developed this COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan to be implemented, to the extent feasible and appropriate, throughout the Organization. The Organization has also designated a team of employees who will implement this plan as well as monitor local, state and the related guidance that the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) continue to make available.
This Plan is based on information available from the State of Minnesota, the CDC and OSHA at the time of its development and is subject to change based on further information provided by these agencies and public officials. The Organization may also amend this Plan based on operational needs.
How is COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19, like other viruses, can spread between people. Infected people can spread COVID-19 through their respiratory secretions, especially when they cough or sneeze. According to the CDC, spread from person-to-person is most likely among close contacts (within about 6 feet for a prolonged period). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, like influenza and other respiratory pathogens. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It is currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Thus far, it is thought to remain the longest on stainless steel or hard plastic surfaces.
Depending on the work setting, we may also rely on identification of sick individuals who have signs, symptoms, and/or a history of travel to COVID-19-affected areas that indicate potential infection with the virus, in order to help identify exposure risks for workers and implement appropriate control measures. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.
Responsibilities of Manager and Supervisors
All directors, managers and supervisors must be familiar with this Plan and be ready to answer questions from employees. Directors, managers and supervisors must set a good example by following this Plan at all times. This involves practicing good personal hygiene and safety practices to prevent the spread of the virus. Directors, managers and supervisors must encourage this same behavior from all employees.
Responsibilities of Employees
HQB is asking each of our employees to help with our prevention efforts while at work. In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 at work, everyone must play their part. As set forth below, the Organization has instituted various housekeeping, social distancing, and other best practices, which all employees must follow. In addition, employees are expected to report to their director, manager or supervisor if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as described below. If you have a specific question about this Plan or COVID-19, please ask your supervisor, the Operations Manager or Human Resources.
OSHA and the CDC have provided the following control and preventative guidance for all workers, regardless of exposure risk:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Follow appropriate respiratory etiquette, which includes covering your mouth and nose for coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
In addition, employees must familiarize themselves with the symptoms of COVID-19, which include the following:
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing; and
- Early symptoms may also occur such as chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, loss of feeling in hands or feet and runny nose.
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, DO NOT COME TO WORK. Please call your supervisor and healthcare provider as soon as possible. Likewise, if you come into close contact with someone showing these symptoms, call your supervisor and healthcare provider right away.
Business Protection Measures
The Organization has instituted the following protective measures in all offices and job sites.
- General Safety Policies and Rules
- Any employee/contractor/visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to leave the Center and return home.
- Meetings will be by telephone or virtual meeting client, if possible. If meetings are conducted in-person, the meetings will avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people and participants must remain at least 6 feet apart. Everyone at an in-person meeting or in the front lobby must wear a mask. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you by HQB.
- Employees must avoid physical contact with others and shall direct others (co-workers/clients/visitors) to increase personal space to at least 6 feet, where possible.
- Group meetings should be limited to fewer than 10 people.
- Cleaning supplies for your office, along with alcohol-based hand sanitizers are available from the Custodial closet and each direct service program.
- Employees should avoid the use of co-workers’ personal equipment.
- Employees must wear masks when interacting with clients, contractors and visitors to the Center, and when in the lobby area.
- With the exception of parents picking up their children and contractors who need to access other areas (as approved by Management), all visitors and clients to the Center must wait in the lobby area or outside the building
Clients / Visitors
The number of clients and visitors to HQB, will be limited to only those that can be safely accommodated under the COVID-19 safety guidelines. Postings in the lobby inform all clients and visitors of the requirement to wear masks and health screening questions. If the visitor answers “yes” to any of the following questions, he/she must not be permitted to access the Center:
- Have you been confirmed positive for COVID-19?
- Are you currently experiencing, or have you recently experienced, any acute respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
- Have you been in close contact with anyone who has been confirmed positive for COVID-19?
- Have you been in close contact with anyone who has traveled and is also exhibiting acute respiratory illness symptoms?
Deliveries will be permitted but should be coordinated with minimal contact and cleaning protocols.
Program Status (as of May 7, 2020)
- Senior programs are paused at that time.
- The Clothing Closet is closed at this time.
- Room rentals are on hold at this time.
- The Food Shelf is open. Clients have the option to place an order online using the food reservation form on the HQB website. HQB staff shop for clients and provide curbside pickup or clients may wait in the lobby if they are wearing a mask. Limited delivery is also available.
- The Early Learning Center is operating for children of essential workers and those who have been directed to return to work and minimizing the number of students in each room. Toys and equipment are disinfected each morning and throughout the day. Additionally, each child’s temperature is taken several times each day.
Personal Protective Equipment and Work Practice Controls
In addition to regular personal protective equipment (“PPE”) for workers engaged in various tasks which require protective wear, HQB will also provide:
- Hand Sanitizer
HQB has instituted regular supplemental housekeeping practices, which include cleaning and disinfecting frequently used equipment and other elements of the work environment, where possible. Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.
Break/lunchroom areas will be cleaned multiple times per day. Employees performing cleaning will be issued proper PPE, such as nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves, as recommended by the CDC.
Any trash collected from the jobsite must be changed frequently by someone wearing nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves. Bathrooms will be cleaned twice per day by Facilities staff. The Organization will ensure that hand sanitizer dispensers are always filled. Frequently touched items (i.e. doorknobs and toilet seats) will be disinfected frequently.
If employees observe that PPE or hand sanitizer requires restocking or believe an area needs cleaning or disinfecting, they should notify their supervisor as soon as possible.
If an employee tests positive or has COVID-19 symptoms, there will be a complete cleaning of the area the individual may have been in contact with, including isolation of personal items for at least 72 hours or the most recent CDC guidance on residence times, whichever is greater.
Individual employees are responsible for sanitizing their individual workspace, and cleaning supplies are available from the Manager of Operations. Items to clean regularly include, but are not limited to:
- Keyboard and mouse
- Other items or surfaces frequently touched or used, such as staplers.
Facilities staff will ensure that the following surfaces are cleaned and sanitized according to MDH and CDC recommendations available here:
- All doorknobs and handles;
- Light switches
- Counters in the front office and supply room;
- Tables and counters in the break room and library, including arms of common room chairs;
- All refrigerators, including handles;
- Handles and controls on breakroom appliances;
- Copy and fax machines;
- Benches in the common area;
- Bathroom sinks and faucets; and
- Toilet seats and handles
If an Employee Exhibits COVID-19 Symptoms
If an employee exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, the employee must remain at home at least 14 calendar days from the initial symptoms and until he or she is symptom free for 72 hours (3 full days) without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., Tylenol, ibuprofen, or cough suppressants). The Organization will similarly require an employee who reports to work with symptoms to return home until he or she meets these criteria. To the extent practical, employees are required to obtain a doctor’s note clearing them to return to work. If they cannot get a doctor’s note, they must speak with Human Resources and get approval before coming in.
If an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 will be directed to self-quarantine away from work. Employees who test positive and are symptom free may return to work when at least 14 days have passed since the date of their first positive test and have not had a subsequent illness. Employees who test positive and are directed to care for themselves at home may return to work when:
- At least 72 hours (3 full days) have passed since recovery (recovery is defined as: (a) resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and (b) improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
- At least 14 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Employees who test positive and have been hospitalized may return to work when directed to do so by their medical care providers. The Organization will require an employee to provide documentation clearing his or her return to work.
If an Employee Has Close Contact with Someone Who Has Tested Positive for COVID-19
Employees who have come into close contact with an individual (co-worker or otherwise) who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with that individual. Close contact is defined as six (6) feet for a prolonged period of time.
If the Organization learns that an employee or volunteer has tested positive, HQB will conduct an investigation to identify people who may have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee in the prior 14 days and may direct those individuals who have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with that employee. If applicable, HQB will also notify any contractors, vendors/suppliers or visitors who may have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee. If an employee learns that he or she has come into close contact with a confirmed-positive individual outside of the workplace, he/she must alert a manager or supervisor of the close contact.
If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is reported, HQB will determine if it meets the criteria for recordability and reportability under OSHA’s recordkeeping rule. If an employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the Organization will assess any workplace exposures to determine if the case is work-related. Work-relatedness is presumed for illnesses that result from events or exposures in the work environment, unless it meets certain exceptions. One of those exceptions is that the illness involves signs or symptoms that surface at work but result solely from a non-work-related event or exposure that occurs outside of the work environment. Thus, if an employee develops COVID-19 solely from an exposure outside of the work environment, it would not be work-related, and thus not recordable.
The Organization’s assessment will consider the work environment itself, the type of work performed, the risk of person-to-person transmission given the work environment, and other factors such as community spread. Further, if an employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19 that is considered work-related, the Organization will report the case to OSHA if it results in a fatality within 30 days or an in-patient hospitalization within 24-hours of the exposure incident.
Except for circumstances in which the Organization is legally required to report workplace occurrences of communicable disease, the confidentiality of all medical conditions will be maintained in accordance with applicable law and to the extent practical under the circumstances. When it is required, the number of persons who will be informed that an unnamed employee has tested positive will be kept to the minimum needed to comply with reporting requirements and to limit the potential for transmission to others. HQB reserves the right to inform other employees that an unnamed co-worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19 if the other employees might have been exposed to the disease so the employees may take measures to protect their own health. HQB also reserves the right to inform sub-contractors, vendors/suppliers or visitors that an unnamed employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 if they might have been exposed to the disease so those individuals may take measures to protect their own health.
Communications and Training of Managers and Workers Necessary to Implement this Plan
The Organization will ensure that messaging across all platforms (including social media, emails, and communications with vendors/guests, are aligned and timely. HQB commits to reacting quickly, sincerely and transparently when it learns of a COVID-19 situation that employees should be made aware of in order to ensure their health and safety.
Educational posters will be posted in multiple locations around the office, including the following:
- COVID-19 flyer
- Mask requirement
- Health Screening questions
- Hand washing instructions
- CDC Guidelines
Given the fast-developing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, HQB may modify this Plan on a case by case basis. Health authorities listed above will inform changes to the Plan as well as response and evaluation procedures. Plan updates will be communicated regularly to supervisors and staff. If you have any questions concerning this Plan, please contact the Operations Manager or Human Resources.
MN Department of Health: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
- COVID-19 One-Stop Shop Toolkits: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/toolkits/index.html?deliveryName=USCDC_2067-DM34603
- COVID-19 Response Health Equity Strategy: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/community/CDC-Strategy.pdf
- Newly Resettled Refugee Population: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/refugee-populations.html
- COVID-19: Resources for Refugee Resettlement Service Providers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/resources-refugee-populations-service-providers.html
- Wearing Masks for Young Adults: https://youtu.be/Mn6axdkbGd4
- Visiting Parks and Rec: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html
- COVID-19 Response Promising Practices in Health Equity II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2XXXyb7C28&feature=youtu.be
- COVIDView: A Weekly Surveillance Summary:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html
- Reducing Stigma: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/reducing-stigma.html
- Guidance Documents: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/guidance-list.html?Sort=Date%3A%3Adesc
- COVID-19 Español:https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Video: What to Expect: Getting a Nasal Swab at a Testing Event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB3x0dFSuuU&feature=youtu.be
- Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: Restaurants and Bars: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/safedining.pdf
- Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: Faith-Based Communities, Places of Worship, Weddings, and Funerals: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/safefaith.pdf
- Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: Gyms and Fitness Centers: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/safegym.pdf
- Upcoming testing events: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/index.html
- Schools and Childcare: COVID-19: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/index.html
- 2020-21 Planning Guide for Schools: Health Considerations for Navigating COVID-19: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/k12planguide.pdf
- Best Practices for Masks: Considerations for People with Disabilities and Special Health Needs: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/guidemasks.pdf
- How to Get a Mask: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/masklocations.html
- Face Covering Requirements and Recommendations under EO 20-81: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facecover.html
- Guidance for Safe Celebrations and Events: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/safeevents.pdf
- Businesses and Employers COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Overview: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/businessesplan.html
- Masking Recommendations for Child Care and Schools: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/masks.html
- MN STAR Program is Open: 651-201-2640 STAR office, email@example.com
- Financial help and community services: https://uimn.org/applicants/help-support/comm-organizations/index.jsp
- MN Tribal and county directory for emergency assistance: https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/people-with-disabilities/health-care/health-care-programs/contact-us/county-tribal-offices.jsp
- Need help with food or child care, employment resources or connections for health care or housing assistance, please visit Apply MN: https://applymn.dhs.mn.gov/online-app-web/spring/public/process-login?execution=e2s1
- Dakota County Eviction Prevention Assistance: https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/HomeProperty/Evictions/Pages/eviction-prevention-assistance.aspx
- COVID-19 Complaint Form for Scams: https://www.ag.state.mn.us/Office/Forms/COVID19Complaint.asp
- Get Help Webpage: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/get-help/index.jsp
- Child Care Aware referral line at 1-888-291-9811 lists available licensed child care providers
- Map of available providers and those willing to support distance learning – https://mn.gov/mmb/childcare/families/
- Parent Aware has tools and information to find the best quality child care and early education for your child (website has four different languages) – https://www.parentaware.org/#/
- Minnesota Safe Learning Plan: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/safe-learning-plan/overview.jsp
- Minnesota Safe Learning Plan FAQs: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/safe-learning-plan/safe-learning-faq.jsp
- Make a Plan, Minnesota – planning for alternate short-term care for children in the event that guardians become ill (Available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali): https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/get-help/make-a-plan.jsp
- Employer Protections for Isolation and Quarantine: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/144.4196
- TPT Mental Health Videos:
- CBFC Emergency Fund for Lending Partners: https://ottobremer.org/emergency-fund-for-lending-partners/
- CBFC Emergency Fund for Nonprofits: https://ottobremer.org/emergency-fund-for-nonprofits/
- Hennepin County Small Business Relief Fund (Applications Due August 12th): https://www.hennepin.us/economic-development/programs/Emergency-relief?emci=580b0e60-51d7-ea11-9b05-00155d03bda0&emdi=d1c8967f-9cda-ea11-8b03-00155d0394bb&ceid=8577131
- Ramsey County Small Business Relief Fund (Applications Due August 18th): https://www.ramseycountymeansbusiness.com/relief-fund?emci=580b0e60-51d7-ea11-9b05-00155d03bda0&emdi=d1c8967f-9cda-ea11-8b03-00155d0394bb&ceid=8577131
- MDH Influenza Vaccine Project 2020 (Letter of Intent Deadline August 14th): https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/flu/hcp/vaccine/rfp.html
- We Love St.Paul/Midway Fund – Grant Program for Small Businesses/Nonprofits – Applications accepted on a rolling basis, applications reviewed every other week: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScKrPBxlS2X6wbOCwwT1UA5JrUVXUi_dnxngVz62yE8cKcM0A/viewform?emci=6d47b824-5ecb-ea11-9b05-00155d03bda0&emdi=21c91a4d-a0cf-ea11-9b05-00155d03bda0&ceid=8577131
- State of Asian Minnesotans: Visibility and Survival in the Age of COVID-19 (August 27th): https://caalmn.org/state-asianmn/?emci=65511cb7-7fd2-ea11-9b05-00155d03bda0&emdi=9715aa52-1cd5-ea11-9b05-00155d03bda0&ceid=8577131
- Advancing the Response to COVID-19: Sharing Promising Programs and Practices for Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities (Registration coming soon): https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/Content.aspx?ID=17502&lvl=2&lvlid=12&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
- Leadership Check-up Series: Developing your Resiliency as a Public Health Professional (webinar series): https://www.astho.org/Events/Leadership-Check-Up-Series/?utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Informz
- Classroom Convos 1: Difficult Conversations about Race (8/7): https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hJasUmSkQmCJvx2eAbHR-g
- Tear Gas & Reproductive Health Study (looking for participants to take an anonymous survey): https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-north-central-states/about-ppncs/research/tear-gas-and-reproductive-health-study
- Live Transcribe: Speech Reading Alternative During PPE Use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D9SnckDR3o
- Live Transcribe App – real-time, speech-to-text transcriptions to help make conversation more accessible for people who are deaf and hard of hearing
- Video: A UK Paramedic Demonstrates how to use Google Live Transcribe with a mask on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sciencedoesntcarewhatyoubelieve/videos/202338114528441
- Four Steps to Address Racism’s Impact on Maternal and Child Health: https://www.nichq.org/insight/four-steps-address-racisms-impact-maternal-and-child-health?utm_campaign=Newsletters&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=91826936&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–45YMe66nQfyzAZ_KMuIzuENFzp0f–ae2POs1eX_fXIUzUE3eoi2xvS5wdha-YGnOO7NueW_8sIguSVgLLRX7YpT1R72_EC5T-SyzOsNo5K4kwDE&utm_content=91826936&utm_source=hs_email
- Racial Equity Resource Directory: http://www.mncompass.org/disparities/resource-directory?utm_source=Compass+News+July+2020&utm_campaign=July+2020+-+Compass+Newsletter&utm_medium=email
- Using the Methods of the Public Health Disparities Geocoding Project to Monitor COVID-19 Inequities: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/thegeocodingproject/covid-19-resources/
- Racial Equity Impact Assessment: https://www.raceforward.org/sites/default/files/RacialJusticeImpactAssessment_v5.pdf
Last resort – County Child Protection
Child protection should be a last resort option. And the very last resort for child protection would be foster care placement as they want to work with families to find next of kin, neighbors, school friends, etc.
Hennepin County #612-348-3552 – call, tell them what you’ve tried and that this is the last option for this family as they want to know you’ve exhausted all other options. The placement of the kiddos would be at St. Joe’s, this would be considered an out of home placement and not a child protection placement.
Ramsey County – contact Intake Manager Alex Cleveland #651-266-4425, cell phone 651-252-9272 regarding these referrals