WNCAP issues statement on coronavirus

Press release from Western North Carolina AIDS Project:

In light of the Governor declaring a state of emergency for North Carolina, WNCAP would like to assure our community that we are closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“WNCAP’s highest priority is the safety of our clients, staff, and volunteers,” said WNCAP Board President Kris Lang. “We are following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and monitoring updates from the National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization, state of North Carolina, and local health departments.”

At this time, WNCAP is continuing normal operations while taking steps to reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19. As of March 11, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our 18-county service area. We understand with the confirmation of seven cases in other parts of the state that the situation is evolving rapidly.

WNCAP will be operating with an abundance of caution given that many of those we serve are at higher risk for COVID-19. According to the CDC, people with compromised immune systems, serious chronic medical conditions, and older adults are at a higher risk of serious illness. The CDC recommends that all people at higher risk take steps to limit exposure and stock up on supplies, including medications. Accordingly, WNCAP is assisting our case management clients with acquiring a 90-day supply of their medications.

If a confirmed case is reported in our 18-county service area:

  • Routine client appointments will be rescheduled or performed by phone.
  • Transportation to emergency/urgent client appointments will be provided only by teammates who are not at higher risk.
  • Staff members will be strongly encouraged to work from home.
  • Staff members at higher risk will be mandated to work from home and limit face-to-face contact with clients and colleagues to emergencies only.
  • Employee travel is restricted to emergencies only and will be assessed on a case by case basis.

If community spread within our service area is confirmed:

  • Offices in Asheville and Franklin will close except for essential staff to provide no-contact syringe services.
  • All other staff must work from home.
  • All staff must avoid face-to-face contact with clients, and colleagues.
  • All employee travel is canceled until further notice.

At this time, we are moving forward as planned with our Dining Out For Life event on Thursday, April 30th. The health and safety of our local community will be at the heart of any decisions surrounding this event.

WNCAP is grateful for the support of our western North Carolina community. We recommend that everyone take appropriate precautionary measures to reduce community transmission of this new virus and prepare for if and when you might get sick. For more information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC website. For information about WNCAP services go to wncap.org/.

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