Calmer Choice: COVID-19 Communication

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Dear Calmer Choice Community,

With great kindness and compassion for us all during this uneasy and unknown time, we are writing to you today to share Calmer Choice’s current plans in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are making these changes in light of Governor Baker’s State of Emergency for the Commonwealth, but perhaps most importantly, we are making these changes to ensure our community of program participants, partners, staff, friends, loved ones and supporters are not put in harm’s way. We are using this public health crisis as an opportunity to pause and reflect on how we want to handle this situation proactively.

Our Leadership Team and Board have been following the situation closely as it relates to upcoming events, programs, meetings and daily operations and have implemented the following measures. We will re-evaluate the following changes on April 1st, and at the beginning of each month, as long as needed:

Effective immediately and through April 1st:

  • All in-person community programs will be suspended:
    • Mindfulness Training for First Responders
    • Helping Our Women
    • Homeless Prevention Councils
  • All in-person trainings, workshops, and events will be suspended:
    • March 12th and March 28th Choice Instructor Training will be rescheduled
    • The March 25th Stakeholder Breakfast will be rescheduled
  • All in-person committee and council meetings will be suspended. Wherever possible, we will offer these meetings via phone or video conference:
    • The March 17th Technology Committee Meeting will be held remotely
    • The March 19th Executive Committee and Finance Committee Meetings will be held remotely
    • The March 24th Board Meeting will be held remotely

It is recommended that all staff should not attend external work-related conferences, meetings, seminars or events. Alternatively, staff are encouraged to participate remotely in any external meetings or events.

Staff who are feeling sick with fever or flu symptoms or have household members who are feeling sick with fever or flu symptoms should not come into work. Information available to date regarding COVID-19 indicates that the highest risk population includes older adults and individuals with serious chronic medical conditions.

For meetings that must be held in person, staff will be advised of procedures to minimize the risk of transmission through proper self-care and hygiene.

Our school-based programs (including Mindfulness for School Staff programs taking place at various schools) will continue as scheduled, at the discretion of each individual school district.

Should our continued monitoring of the situation indicate an increase in severity, we will assess the need to reschedule events scheduled after April 1st, including the community-based programs that are being planned for late April.

Rest assured that the safety, care, and peace of mind of our entire community remains our top priority. We are all sitting in the unknown, and realize this is a difficult and unpredictable time. While these decisions weren’t easy to make, they were made with the safety and well-being of our community of program participants, partners, staff, friends, loved ones and supporters as our priority. Practicing mindfulness and compassion during this stressful time is needed now more than ever. We look forward to the chance to resume our programs as soon as it is safe to do so.

With love and kindness from all of us at Calmer Choice,

Fiona Jensen, Chief Executive Officer
Emily Smalley, Chief Operating Officer
Katie Medlar, Program Director

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