The Los Angeles LGBT Center has released the following recommendations for members of the LGBTQ+ community during the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19):
Like most of you, in recent days the staff at the Center has been focused on the news of the evolving novel coronavirus epidemic. For us, of course, this hits close to home. As a provider of health and social services for the most vulnerable in our community, we feel a special responsibility. We are working night and day to ensure that our services remain available to those who may have nowhere else to turn in a time of crisis. That is what we do.
In responding to pandemic, the Center’s first priority, of course, is the health and well-being not just of our clients, but also of our staff and the community at-large.
From the outset, we have been following the recommendations and guidelines of state and local public health officials and we will continue to do so. Our senior management and Health Services teams are meeting daily as we continue to evaluate and navigate what protocols and procedures to enact.
Based on the evolution of the response to COVID-19, including the recent states of emergencies declared by Los Angeles County and the State of California, today we have taken additional steps to protects our clients, staff, and community.
- Simply diVine, scheduled for Saturday, April 18, has been cancelled. We are still evaluating whether or not to reschedule. You can read our statement about the event at simplydivine.org. Our production of HAIR has also been postponed–read our statement at lalgbtcenter.org/theatre.
- Decisions on future large gatherings hosted by the Center are still being assessed. Whether or not an event or activity is canceled, it is still imperative that if you are feeling sick—whether that’s from a cold, flu, or COVID-19—you stay at home.
- For our staff, we have temporarily restricted air travel and conference attendance.
- We are also developing contingency plans for staff should the pandemic escalate. While some large companies are already embracing broad work-from-home strategies, as a provider of vital health and social services, we feel a responsibility to keep our services available at a time when the need is so great during a health crisis.
- All Center locations have protective masks available should a client exhibit COVID-19 symptoms while visiting the Center. Protocols have been in place at our health care facilities to help symptomatic clients. Similar protocols are also in place for our seniors residing at Triangle Square as well as for clients of our youth and senior centers.
- Advisories were sent to more than 35,000 of our Health Services clients earlier this week about how they should respond if they experience symptoms. Advice on best practices for visiting our clinics was included. (Scroll down to review that information.)
We continue to urge everyone to follow the recommendations of public health officials along with common-sense practices:
- If you are sick stay home. You should not attend public gatherings or meetings if you have a fever and cough.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Carry a tissue with you if you think you might sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue available, cough into your arm, not your hands!
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in between hand washing when soap and water aren’t immediately available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as these are the easiest areas for germs to spread through.
Thank you for all your support. There no doubt will be some difficult days ahead. But through it all, the Center commits to making sure that we will be there—not just for those who need it the most, but for all of you in our extended family.