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March 13, 2020

Dear Friends,

If you have watched TV or listened to the radio you have heard a lot of distressing news about the novel coronavirus also known as COVID-19.  Having confirmed cases in the state only adds to the stress and makes us susceptible to fear and misinformation.

As of this morning Friday, March 13 – South Carolina has not declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus situation. It is important to remember that if this happens, it will be out of an abundance of caution and to allow people in the state to get help if they need it.  Also, the current posting on the South Carolina DHEC website reports a total of 87 individuals tested with 6 cases “presumed positive”, meaning test results have not been confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 6 cases confirmed positive.

NAMI Greenville is taking the COVID-19 situation very seriously. We also want to make sure the people we serve, those with mental health conditions and those who love them, have continuing access to the information and support we offer throughout the community.

Currently, NAMI Greenville intends to continue all scheduled classes, support groups, and presentations as planned.  Our plans may change rapidly as many of the community partners that provide space for these classes, support groups and presentations may set rules that restrict  the number of attendees or access to the space completely.  We will also change plans if advised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or South Carolina DHEC.  We are also asking each of our volunteers, leaders and participants to make decisions that are best for them and their families.  If you choose not to participate in scheduled events, please know we support that decision.

NAMI Greenville is taking every precaution at our office and following the advice below from CDC and SCDHEC by:

  • Asking all employees, leaders, volunteers and program participants to stay home if they are feeling sick, especially if the symptoms are those related to the coronavirus or the flu. (See below for a list of those).
  • Keep using hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, Kleenex and anti-bacterial soap and encouraging people to use them frequently.
  • We are pursuing options for alternative methods to host support groups including online capabilities.
  • Our staff is preparing to work from home if that becomes a necessity.

The symptoms of the novel coronavirus are:

Mild to severe respiratory illness, Fever, Cough, Shortness of Breath

What to do if you have symptoms:

  • If you develop symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. Allow your health care provider to direct you to their office or to a hospital if necessary.
  • If your symptoms are mild and you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you may be able to isolate at home.  Please follow the CDC guidance to reduce your risk of spreading it to others.
  • If your symptoms are severe or life-threatening, call 911

 

How you can protect yourself and others from the spread of coronavirus or any other respiratory disease:

  • Wash your hands, often and for at least 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the alphabet)
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get your flu vaccine if you have not already.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any cough or sneeze with a tissue then throw it in the trash or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Make sure you have the kinds of foods, drinks, medication and pet supplies you would want if you needed to stay home and limit your contact with other people for a couple of weeks.

 

Ways to avoid headline anxiety and to cope with the news:

  • Avoid triggering topics in the news.
  • Limit your news consumption.
  • Not everything you read in social media is true – get the facts from:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or www.scdhec.gov

 

We will continue to closely monitor this situation and will update you through email, on our website, social media posts and phone calls if our programing or other schedules change.

 

Please stay safe, healthy and protect your mental health!

 

Ken Dority

Executive Director

 

NAMI Greenville

2320 E. North Street, Suite L

Greenville, SC 29607

 

Phone:  864-331-3300

Website:  www.namigreenvillesc.org

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