IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATES
At Ronald McDonald House Charities® Southwest Florida, our highest priority is the health and well-being of our essential guests, family members and/or caregivers, and staff members. We are in regular contact with our hospital partners and will continue to monitor the situation closely. We assure you we are taking all the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.
With that said, effective immediately and until further notice, we are temporarily suspending the following:
- The Ronald McDonald Family Room®
- All volunteer shifts in the House (includes Family Meal Program/Baking Buddies)
- Tours or visits to the Ronald McDonald House
In addition, our Pull Tab program has been suspended indefinitely.
HOW WE ARE STAYING SAFE
Our goal is to continue to deliver our mission with the health and safety of our essential guests, family members and/or caregivers, and staff members. We will communicate, educate, train, and screen all RMHC SWFL staff and families with updated policies and practices for the four-phase entry of new families. Here are some of the ways we intend to continue our mission safely:
- Air Purifiers: Thanks to the incredibly generous donation of Dr. Tom Sievert with Sievert Chiropractic Clinic in Fort Myers, we have ten Vollara brand air purifiers throughout the House. These air purifiers contain ActivePure Technology®, which is NASA-inspired, Hall of Fame Certified Space Technology. ActivePure Technology® eliminates 99.9% of airborne SARS-CoV-2 Virus within 3 minutes in FDA-compliant military lab tests.
- Masks: It is required that all staff and families wear a face mask while in the House. Also, it is imperative we continue to practice proper social distancing even while wearing a face mask.
- Cleaning: Thanks to the generosity of many local donors, as well as our global donor, Wexford Labs, Inc., we’ve received many cleaning supplies for the continual sanitization of the House. The cleaning and disinfection practices we use are based on the suggestions of the CDC. Sanitizer and wipes are in each room for the families as well.
- Wellness Checks: A checklist of individual wellness questions will be asked of all employees, families, and essential visitors before entering the House. Daily temperature screenings will also occur. If anyone, in the last 14 days, has had an elevated temperature of 99.5°F or higher, or any of the noted symptoms, they will not be allowed to enter the House.
- Meal Service: The kitchen will be closed to families during phases one-three of reinstatement. Meals will be individually packaged and delivered to the guest bedrooms. All guest rooms are equipped with mini-refrigerators for storage. Individual grab-and-go snacks and beverages are readily available to families, and other items are available upon request.
- Protocol for Suspected/Positive Cases of COVID-19: Staff who develop respiratory illness symptoms should immediately be excluded from the House and remain away while a diagnosis is sought. If not already home, staff should return to their home and contact their healthcare provider. If test results for COVID-19 are negative, the staff member may return to work once it is confirmed they do not present a health risk to families and staff, based on the illness they have had. If a diagnosis of COVID-19 is confirmed, the staff member must remain away from Chapter offices and program sites and refrain from interactions with staff, essential guests, and families. This protocol must be followed until such time that the staff person meets the criteria for release from isolation, currently at least 14 days, and as further determined by local public health authorities. Based on the guidance from RMHC Global, we will follow these steps in the event a family member and/or caregiver becomes a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19:
- Notify Public Health & Hospital Infection Control
- Quarantine present family members to room ASAP
- Family will be required to vacate with assistance of House, Social Worker, or Case Manager
- Explore transport options for family
- Communicate with family, social worker, or case manager about possible re-entry to House
- Room closure
- Notify board members, staff, volunteers and other families following advice from public health officials
- Room to remain vacant for 48-72 hours pre-clean
- Cleaning/disinfecting to be conducted by professionals to public health standards
HOW YOU CAN HELP OUR FAMILIES
Here are some ways you can help from a distance:
- Check out our revamped Family Meal Program. Due to the pandemic, our Family Meal Program is going to look different for a while. Even though our volunteers are not permitted in the House to cook yet, we still need to feed our families. We’ve come up with several ways you can help us!
- Send or drop-off donations from our Amazon Smile Wish List
- Become a OMG (once a month giver) for RMHC and start a monthly recurring donation to help us continue our mission!
- If you’re on Facebook, create a Fundraiser for RMHC SWFL!
We sincerely appreciate your patience and support as we all deal with COVID-19. Thank you, and stay safe!