Until two days ago there had been no known COVID-19 cases in Polk County. The first case diagnosed is a local doctor, who is the primary care physician for several CARE residents. Three of them had seen him right before he was diagnosed, so they are now self-quarantined in their rigs for two weeks.
CARE staff members and volunteers are taking extra precautions to keep all of us safe. Restrictions have been strengthened above those included in the original announcement by our CARE Board. Our dining room has been re-arranged (with several tables removed) so that the tables are far apart and no more than two people can sit at a table. We must stay at least six feet apart at all times and have no more than ten people in a room. Sometimes that restriction is difficult to follow. We can eat breakfast in the dining room, as usual, because so few people come for breakfast; but our noon meals are brought to our rigs. We can pick up our evening meals ourselves but we have to follow the strict “social distancing” rules.
Polk County officials have put into place a no-driving rule effective at midnight tonight for all non-essential activities. Since CARE is considered an essential service, our staff members are allowed to drive into town. They will pick up our food and supplies for us once a week. They have worked out an arrangement with store managers whereby we submit our shopping lists to our staff, store employees pick and package the items and then CARE staff pick them up and deliver them to us. The cost will be added to our monthly statements.
This crisis has put a very heavy burden on everyone in these essential services. This makes me doubly thankful for our CARE staff and volunteers.