Peer Empowerment Network

Dear Friends,

With fall fast approaching many of us are wondering if our lives will ever go back to “normal”.  COVID – 19 has taken away many of our favorite summer time activities and events here at the Drop In Center.  As we look ahead, many of you may be wondering what the fall and winter will bring. 

During the month of September, the Center will again be operating with limited openings.  We will be monitoring the effect the opening of schools will have on Cambia County COVID – 19 numbers, taking that into account when considering October scheduling. I know that many will be disappointed by this news and perhaps disagree with the decision.  I want to reassure you that we are doing all that we can do within the guidelines of the CDC at this time.  Please take a moment to read the Guiding Principles for Community Base Organizations, taken from the PA Dept. of Health website.  When applying these guidelines to our current operating practices we fall into the More/Higher Risk Categories. 

The staff continue to do all that is necessary to keep us all safe during your visits to the Center. We ask for your continued patience and understanding as we struggle to follow the CDC recommendations for a safe reopening while continuing to offer you all the love and support of your Drop In Center! 

On a happier note:  Dr. Talbot has agreed to come back for Open Art!  Following CDC recommendation’s he will only be offering a 2 hour studio on Fridays. In September he is scheduled to be here only once but in October we hope to see him each Friday.  Mary will not be returning with Dr. T. this year, as her safety and well- being are the number 1 priority!  She will certainly be missed! 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.  You can reach us at 814-539-2724. 

Best Regards,
Maryann, Joann, Melissa, Holly and Eugene

                                  Guiding Principles to Keep in Mind for Community Base Organizations

                                                  (Taken from the PA Dept. of Health Website)

The more people an individual interacts with, and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Location can be a factor, too, with outdoor activities generally being less risky than indoor activities. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases as follows:

Lowest risk: Meetings and other activities are conducted virtually. Only essential activities (i.e., provision of essential services) occur in person.

More risk: Small, in-person gatherings like board meetings or support groups are held. Outdoor activities and meetings are prioritized. Individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects. No food is served at meetings or events. Most staff telework and if staff or stakeholders are present in a facility, they are required to wear masks (if able) and maintain social distancing. Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting practices are implemented. Attendees at the organization’s meeting and events come from the same local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, county).

Higher risk: Indoor activities are held. Medium-sized in-person gatherings are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart. In CBO facilities, common areas are closed, and staff are encouraged to wear masks (if able) and maintain social distancing. Food is served in pre-packaged boxes with disposable utensils to eliminate the need for shared items or congregating around serving tables. For meetings and events, a limited number of attendees come from outside the local geographic area.

Highest risk: Standard operations and programming are resumed. Large in-person gatherings are held where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart. Food is served “potluck” or family style. Many event attendees come from outside the local geographic area.