COVID-19 Official Statement
March 15, 2020
Dear Friends and Area Community,
UPDATE January 14th, 2022:
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma has continued to serve children and their families across our three local areas. To protect the vulnerable families staying with us during their child’s hospitalization, families are asked to follow all protocols set forth by our hospital partners. This may include; limiting the number of guests, and wearing a facial mask in communal areas. Current guest are directed to speak with staff if any questions arise.
Each local RMHC Chapter faces different circumstances—from unique populations served to differences in vaccine availability and access—and Chapters work in close partnership with local health authorities, hospitals, and local Boards to set policies in alignment with those provided by RMHC Global. For that reason, it is a local Chapter decision whether or not to mandate vaccinations of RMHC guest families. Since vaccinations have been proven to limit the spread of the virus and reduce severity of disease, RMHC Global strongly recommends that local Chapters require vaccination of all eligible staff, families and visitors to RMHC program spaces, including recommended boosters when individuals are eligible.
With that being said, our local chapter does not require proof of a COVID vaccination for families to utilize our program services.
For more information on RMHC Global Position on Vaccination Mandates and COVID Safety Protocol visit https://www.rmhc.org/media-center/rmhc-global-position-on-covid
UPDATE March 25th, 2020:
All of our 14 bedrooms across three cities are nearly at capacity and we are glad to be able to continue serving those families currently staying with us during this extra-difficult time! Unfortunately, while schools remain closed, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile must temporarily halt operations. Our team is eager to resume this vital service to children’s oral health as soon as it is safe to do so!
In order to protect the health of the families staying with us, day-use access to our programs must be limited at this time. Special measures are being taken at each program to ensure that all eligible families at the hospital receive the care and comfort they need, including care packages, snacks, and delivered meals.
Due to the suspension of all volunteer programs for the next several weeks or more, we have lost vital assistance from caring individuals in the amount of hundreds of hours. But the work doesn’t go on hold while the volunteer program does, and staffing costs have seen a sharp increase in turn. Your generous contribution today will allow us to continue to meet the needs of the families during this temporary period.
UPDATE March 20th, 2020:
We wanted to share with you just how important your support is at this time. Since Sunday, you have contributed $1,089 towards our Share-A-Meal fund. This will provide almost a full week of dinners for our families at all three of our programs!
Coming together to (virtually) share a comforting meal with someone in the middle of a crisis makes a BIG impact with just a little individual effort. If you’d like to help us get to two weeks of dinners, visit this link!
At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma, the health and well-being of the families we serve has always been at the core of our mission. Due to serious concerns around the COVID-19 situation, and for the protection of our families, staff and volunteers, we are enacting certain protocols based on current statewide and local recommendations.
Currently, none of the four RMHC of Arkoma programs have been directly affected by Coronavirus and remain open and operational.
As always, our staff remains diligent in maintaining the highest standard of cleanliness. In addition, we are implementing extra precautions, including the following:
- Any House or Family Room staff members who believe they may be ill are being asked to stay home. All volunteer programs are suspended until further notice.
- The Care Mobile will continue to provide dental services as scheduled as long as schools remain open. Staff will be screened daily for risk factors until further notice.
- Our Share-A-Meal program will continue, however at this time, groups will not be allowed to come into the program to prepare meals. We ask that volunteers call the program upon arrival so staff may retrieve meals from your vehicle. Share-A-Meal commitments may be rescheduled for a future date as needed by contacting the program directly.
- To keep our families fed in the safest way possible, donations may be made to our Share-A-Meal fund at https://rmhark.ejoinme.org/share-a-meal.
Inside our House and Family Room programs, families are asked to follow all protocols set forth by our hospital partners. This may include limiting the number of guests to primary caregivers only, as well as no visitors under the age of 14. Current guests are asked to speak to program staff directly with any questions.
We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the guidance of local health authorities and the CDC. The best way to prevent illness and to help avoid spreading the virus further is to take basic, precautionary measures. Thank you for your support in keeping our families as safe and comfortable as possible during these unexpected circumstances.
Any press and community questions or concerns may be directed to our Communications Director.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support,