With the severe storm season just ramping up in the four-state area and the continuing COVID-19 outbreak,  the Arkansas Department of Health has some guidelines to follow in the event of major storm damage.

Before individuals are allowed to enter a shelter, please complete the attached screening tool at their website. If someone answers yes to any of the questions or if their temp is over 100.4, please have that person moved to an alternate shelter, if available, and have the screener take their name and number and provide that to the Department at the email address on the form.

Here are the recommendations for that process.

  • Greet those seeking shelter from a distance of 6 feet and explain that you are taking additional precautions to protect yourself and the client from COVID-19.
  • Screen each individual for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 by asking them if they have a fever, new or worsening cough, or shortness of breath. (These are outlined on the screening tool)
  • If the individual has a cough, immediately provide them with a surgical mask to wear. (If available) I would ask the local hospital for a few of these if you do not have access to them.
  • If urgent medical attention is necessary, use standard protocols to facilitate access to emergency healthcare.
  • Continue conversations and provision of information while maintaining 6 feet of distance.
  • Maintain good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) on a regular basis. (if available)
  • Wear gloves if you need to handle belongings. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer (>60% alcohol) before and after wearing gloves.
  • Try and keep those within the shelter as far apart as practical, 6 feet if possible
  • We understand the challenges of congregate settings during events like this and ask that each shelter do the beast they can keep social distancing in mind, which under the circumstances will be very difficult.