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How Our Greater MN Members Are Responding to COVID

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
By Cynthia A McDonough
Posted: 2020-11-24T18:43:00Z
Counties: Becker, Clearwater, Hubbard, Mahnomen Otter Tail, Todd, Wadena, Wilkin 

All Meals on Wheels sites have kept operating during COVID-19. They use precautions with face masks, social distance, and sanitizing. The congregate dining is closed but they do have curbside pickup available. 

All Food Shelves continue to operate with added precautions. Face masks, social distance and sanitizing. There are many precautions in place to stay as safe as possible including window delivery at the food shelf, delivery to client’s car in the parking lot, some offered home delivery. If they allow clients to enter, then only one at a time. There is emergency food available, option to visit a second time in one month if needed. 

Transportation sites had a limited number of drivers available at the beginning of COVID-19 in which the rides were for regular dialysis appointments, treatment appointments. Some sites did not receive any requests, others were delivering services such as groceries or medications but not transporting clients. More recently the drivers are starting to transport again with precautions, face masks, sanitizing vehicle between clients, client rides in back seat for social distance. 

Thrift shops were closed for a while and then slowly started to reopen with limited number of volunteers and using precautions with face masks, social distance and sanitizing. 

Museums have been closed for the safety of the volunteers. Some volunteers did help with keeping up the grounds and upkeep of the building but no group tours. 

Exercise Groups had to stop meeting due to the centers being closed. Recently two of the groups have started meeting again, one group meets outside in the park, social distance, face masks, use their own weights and do not share. The other group meets inside a room large enough for social distance, wear face masks, sanitize everything when done, do not share weights, and bring their own water. 

Tax Aid Volunteers were busy with the extended tax season since they had to stop working during the beginning of COVID-19. The clients would drop off their information in the drop box outside of our office. The tax volunteers would then complete the paperwork. When done, a phone call was placed to the client and the client would pick up the completed packet outside the building. Face masks, sanitizing, and distance precautions were followed. 

One of our Wildlife Refuge sites is compromising the loss, of in-person nature activities with elementary children, by having volunteers go online and do Facebook Live videos of them reading a book or teaching a new nature activity. 

Cynthia McDonough 
RSVP Director 
MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership, Inc. 
1125 West River Road 
PO Box 747 
Detroit Lakes, MN 56502