Cabarrus Meals on Wheels is concerned about what a significant outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Cabarrus County could mean for the vulnerable seniors we serve. We are closely monitoring information and resources being shared by the experts in disease control and are putting prevention and response plans into place. We follow health officials' recommended steps to protect against coronavirus similarly to how we prevent the spread of other illnesses.
At this time, there is no plan to discontinue our services. We are working to keep everyone, volunteers and clients, safe during this time. We are closely monitoring information and resources being shared by the experts in disease control and are putting prevention and response plans into place We have implemented several safety measures and a no-contact delivery system.
We are following the guidelines given to us through the NC Department of Public Health, NC Division of Aging and Adult Services, and the Area Agency on Aging. We receive daily updates from the CDC.
We are in a difficult situation balancing how to keep in touch with the 400 people who count on us for social contact, trying to be a calm voice of reason for staff and volunteers, keeping abreast of "best practices" (really, how can there be a best practice for something most of us have not lived through in our lifetimes?), and keeping in touch with MOW colleagues around the country for advice.
As you are aware, 90% of our clients live in poverty and depend on us for their food. Without our program many of them would be left without anything.
We know the critical importance of preparation in times like this and understand the delicate balance between panic and preparedness. While we do not anticipate a disruption in service at this time, we are preparing for the eventuality that we might be advised to “shelter in place” to avoid spreading germs. Our clients, as all of our volunteers know, are quite vulnerable to the effects of illness. This virus in particular has proven to be more impactful for people with preexisting breathing difficulties. To be prepared for that eventuality, we are preparing food – both shelf stable and frozen meals. We will have the ability to deliver two weeks of meals at one time.
Together, we can get through these uncertain times. Thank you.
With This in Mind Please Follow These Guidelines:
- Properly wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
- Cover your cough with a tissue or elbow---throw the tissue away
- Use hand sanitizer
- Stay home and self-isolate if you are not well
Be Aware of the Following Symptoms:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Severe Illness
Thank you for your continued support of our program. We have had a tremendous outpouring of support over the past two weeks. We will continue to need your support as we move through this COVID situation.
As you may be aware of, elected officials with Cabarrus County, the cities of Concord and Kannapolis, and the towns of Harrisburg, Midland and Mt. Pleasant announced a Stay at Home Proclamation for residents that will take effect March 26 at 5 p.m. Cabarrus County’s Stay at Home Proclamation is valid through April 16, 2020.
Cabarrus Meals on Wheels is an essential business, and, as our volunteer you, too, are essential! (WE ALREADY KNEW THAT.) We will continue to deliver meals to the elderly and home-bound. Below is the part of the proclamation that makes us essential: This has also been confirmed with Cabarrus Health Alliance:
- Home-based care and services. Home-based care for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness, including caregivers such as nannies who may travel to the child’s home to provide care, and other in-home services including meal delivery.
You can download a letter here to keep in your vehicle in case you need to prove you are doing something deemed essential. We will also have copies available when you deliver.
We do ask if you are in a high risk group you consider not delivering during this time. High risk groups include:
- Over age 65
- Anyone with underlying health conditions
Remember our policies:
- Stay in your vehicle
- Use hand sanitizer
- Use gloves
- Keep your hands clean
- Use the plastic bags to put meals in
- Contact us if you do not make visual contact with a client
- Get out of your vehicle at our office when picking up meals
- Make face to face contact with any of our clients
- Go into anyone's home for any reason
- Hesitate to contact us for any reason
- Deliver if you are ill
We can’t thank you enough for your continued support of our program. We could not fulfill our mission without your help.
Previous Announcements and Changes
- As of Wednesday, March 18th, we are drive thru only! Please stay in your car and staff will load the coolers into your vehicle. Please unload coolers as you typically do but leave route sheets outside. Please call us if you need to update us on a client at 704.932.3412.
- On Tuesday, March 17th we began a new delivery method limiting interaction between volunteer and client. Our goal is to keep everyone safe.
Meal delivery will remain the same time, but we ask you to leave the meal in a bag on each doorknob or place meal near the delivery door, knock and announce yourself, and return to your car. We ask you to wait until the client opens the door and retrieves the meal. We have asked clients to quickly retrieve their meals. We want you, at least, to put eyes on the client. If you don’t see the client please make a note on your route sheet, someone will be calling to check on them.
We encourage everyone to utilize the Cabarrus Health Alliance web site as a reliable source of guidance and information.
• Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
• CDC has updated travel recommendations please visit link for more details: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
• If you have been instructed to self-monitor your symptoms by a healthcare provider, or through guidance from the CDC or Department of Health and Human Services, please use this form: CHA Self-Monitoring Tool.
• If you have a specific question, please call the CHA Health Information line at 704-920-1213. All messages will be returned by a CHA nurse within two hours if received between 8am-5pm. Please leave a good return call number.
• During after-hours, people who have questions or concerns related to COVID-19 can call 866-462-3821 for more information. Press 1 for English or to ask for a language interpreter. Spanish speakers should press 2. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select "Chat."