The past few months have been challenging. We know how difficult this has been for many in our community. We thank everyone for their effort to abide by Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. As you may know, the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order remains in place as Phase II goes into effect 1 June 2020.
As of 1 June 2020 – Phase II of Governor Inslee’s plan for qualified counties is implemented. This is the second phase of Governor Inslee’s phased “Smart Start” approach. This is the plan he and public health officials will take for resuming recreational, social and business activities. Every phase will still require social distancing and appropriate health precautions including the use of personal protective equipment in a number of workplaces. Find out more here, https://www.coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/whats-open-and-closed.
A total of 21 counties have now been approved to move to Phase 2: Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Cowlitz, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pend Orielle, San Juan, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, Wahkiakum and Whitman. Find out more on the Governor’s coronavirus website; https://coronavirus.wa.gov/news/seven-new-counties-approved-move-phase-2-gov-jay-inslees-safe-start-plan
What does this mean for our community? The first thing to know is that all brain injury support group meetings and activities are canceled until further notice. This includes all gatherings including picnics and BBQs. And all personal care recommendations we have promoted over the past few months are still at the top of our list of recommendations.
The order requires every Washingtonian to stay at home which will be effective through May 31, except for people:
- Pursuing an essential activity, like shopping for groceries or going to a medical appointment.
- Getting takeout food. (Food deliveries also are permitted).
- Going to work at an essential business.
- Going outside for walks and exercise, as long as social distancing of six feet is maintained.
- What does it mean to stay home?
- Suspected violations of the governor’s orders regarding essential business functions and social distancing can be reported.
- Guidelines for enforcement for the Governor’s order (pdf)
- You cannot participate in “public and private gatherings and multi-person activities for social, spiritual and recreational purposes, regardless of the number of people involved”, except as stated in the governor’s proclamation. This includes our brain injury support groups.
We recommend that small groups use tools such as Skype or Zoom to have a group call instead of meeting in person. Due to recent security concerns regarding Zoom at this time, we recommend using caution for this platform. If you choose to use Zoom be sure to take all necessary precautions to ensure your communications are as safe as possible. This might also be a good time to explore BEST in Second Life.
If you are a WA State support group facilitator you can join the BEST team and other facilitators on our Facilitator Chat. The next chat is scheduled for 11am PST on Saturday, 30 May. For call information please contact Gloria or Robin for call information.
Be sure to bookmark this page and come back often. We will continue to provide updates as we receive them.
It the meantime, there are ways to help reduce risks of illness. They are:
- Stay home, especially if you or someone in your family is ill.
- Keep a distance of at least 6′ between yourself and others.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wear a personal face mask per CDC recommendations.
- Keep frequently used, shared, and communal surfaces and objects clean and disinfected.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
We, also, recommend the following actions for our support groups to help slow the spread of the virus in our communities. This will, also, help to reduce feelings of isolation.
- Use the phone to call and connect with one another.
- Consider starting a phone tree. Each group member calls two others twice a week.
- Host a group call using Skype, Facetime, or conference calling.
- Text or Instant Message each other.
- Start an email conversation.
- If your group has a private Facebook page start a group chat.
We’ve listed some additional resources below:
While the circumstances continue to change and we adjust our outreach, support, and services as necessary, we thank you for your patience and your cooperation. We continue to vigorously monitor the local, state, national and federal guidelines about the virus. As new information becomes available, our team will keep you well informed so we can all respond swiftly and appropriately.
BEST remains committed to the health and safety of our community, especially now as the nicer weather of Spring and Summer are inviting us to come play. If you have concerns or questions, please contact us. We are happy to help you.
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST)
last updated 26 May 2020