The effects of the Covid-19 closure

Usually we shut down the warehouse for staging shipments that last 1 to 3 days. For the first time the decision was made on March 16th to close the warehouse and office to volunteers. At that time I thought it would be for two weeks and no more than three. Once Idaho was put under the stay-at-home order, I ordered the staff to stay home as needed. HoHNW was  considered an essential business since we help people in need of durable medical equipment. Staff members Karen Lolley and Mark Pridgen came in as needed and to give me a day off when needed.

I always knew how important our volunteers and staff are, as they say you don’t know what you have until they’re gone. On May 1st staff members returned to normal hours, and a few days later on May 5th we welcomed back volunteers that felt safe returning. It was a great relief to see staff and volunteers back at HoHNW, and I pray that we do not go through another prolonged period without the lifeblood of HoHNW. What a great day to hear the normal sights and sounds of people working again.

Creating a safe work environment and maintaining social distancing was a challenge we took head on. At one of our Monday staff meetings, we discussed where the touch points were and how we could best change procedures. A few of these items included turning off the time clock computer, keeping the door between the warehouse and office open and keeping the other doors entering the warehouse open. We also had PPE supplies available to those that wanted to use them and plenty of hand sanitizer on hand. Thank you to the volunteers, staff and board members for their input and support during this unprecedented time.

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