El Centro de la Raza’s Response to COVID-19 Virus

El Centro de la Raza continues to monitor the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak closely. We are acting per the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Washington State Department of Health, and Seattle & King County Department of Public Health. We are also making efforts to stay ahead of any potential spreading of harmful germs within our facilities.

At this time, we have closed most of the Historic Building’s entrances. Only the South Entrance and Basement Entrance remain open for use. We have also set up hand sanitizing stations throughout and outside the buildings. We are mandating everyone who enters our premises first to sanitize their hands. Furthermore, we have directed our janitorial staff to prioritize and increase the frequency of cleaning commonly-used spaces and surfaces, including restrooms, door handles, and emergency bars on doors. Restrooms in the Historic Building are cleaned hourly. Classrooms are sanitized every night. For the safety of our program participants, staff, and the community, protect yourselves with thorough handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, and avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

We may need to call on you for financial, volunteer, or advocacy support. We are seeing impacts on our revenue as a result of the cancelled and lost meeting and event space rentals in both our historic building and Centilia Cultural Center. We are working with funders when possible to adjust contract deliverables. Our Business Opportunity Center food vendors are experiencing cancellations and loss of business. Our program participants in the restaurant and hotel industry are reporting that they are being dismissed from work because there is no work. This means a loss of pay and many do not have paid sick leave. They may be at risk of losing other benefits, like childcare, due to lost wages and hours during this difficult time.

For additional resources and the Washington State Department of Health’s list of recommendations we are following:

•  Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face. Stay home when you are sick. Call your healthcare provider before going to a clinic or emergency room.

•  Show compassion and support for individuals who are closely impacted by this outbreak.

•  Make preparations in the event of an outbreak.

You can also monitor emerging developments on the Washington State Department of Health’s website, Facebook, and Twitter. To call the Washington State Department of Health, dial 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

More specifically in Seattle and King County, the local Department of Health announced these recommendations we are also following:

•  Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. We urge anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to please call their health care provider and the King County Novel Coronavirus hotline at (206) 477-3977. Symptoms include a cough, fever, or other respiratory problems.

•  Stay home when sick.

•  Practice excellent personal hygiene habits.

•  Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are 60 and older or have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.

Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health’s website or blog.

This situation is ever-changing, and we are committed to providing the most up-to-date available information to our Beloved Community. The safety and health of our staff, including the janitorial team, program participants, guests, and other community members, is our top concern because viruses do not discriminate. Our thoughts are with the people who are impacted directly by and as a result of misperceptions of this virus.