Corona Virus - 19 

What We Know

   Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that include the common cold as well as much more serious diseases. The strain that emerged in China in late 2019, now called COVID-19, is related to others that have caused serious outbreaks in recent years, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was on Jan. 21.

The disease, which apparently originated in animals, is now transferring from person to person, although the mechanism is not yet fully understood. Its symptoms include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath, and many patients develop pneumonia. There is as yet no vaccine against COVID-19 it and no antiviral treatment.

     According to the CDC, the best way of preventing the disease is to avoid close contact with people who are sick, to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and to use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

    To avoid spreading any respiratory illness, the CDC recommends staying at home when you are sick, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throwing the tissue in the trash, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surface. 


Our Response

    With all the various shut-downs, we anticipate an increase in clients as many who rely on hourly wages begin to see those wages diminish.  The need is likely to keep rising, as businesses cut back hours or even begin to shut down, in response OFEC will continue to serve meals, provide sack lunches and the food pantry in will be open to help fill in the gap. 

     Additionally, students in low-income families lose their free and reduced-price lunches at shutdown schools.   Some school districts, like Tulsa Public Schools, have stepped up to provide meals for students during the shutdown, and many town elderly services departments are keeping their Meals on Wheels programs in place while their senior centers are closed. 

    However, we have imposed strict cleaning protocols and have asked volunteers and employees with possible contact with the new virus to stay home.

Recommended Protocols

CDC recommends a series of everyday preventive actions that the community can take to prevent the spread of the virus with the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

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