HANNIBAL | Douglass Community Services is resuming operations on Wednesday after temporarily closing due to a possible COVID-19 exposure.
An employee of Douglass Community Services came into contact with someone who was tested for COVID-19. On Monday, that individual tested negative, which allowed for the board of directors to approve re-opening Douglass Community Services.
“Our goal is to always be the safest (we can be), so we don't have to contact trace 300 kids who got a meal from us,” said Douglass Community Services director of community outreach Stacey Nicholas. “It's just about being overly cautious … because we deal with the public, and sometimes we are dealing with members of the public who are high risk.”
Although no employees of Douglass Community Services have tested positive for COVID-19 or displayed any symptoms, the board of directors is being cautious moving forward. On Sunday, the building was sanitized and deep cleaned.
Nicholas said that Douglass Community Services wanted to do the right thing for the community.
“We don't even have a positive test at Douglass, but we (had) someone who come in contact with someone was being tested,” Nicholas said. “So that just sets off a bunch of precautionary actions from us.”
Douglass Community Services is also taking extra measures to ensure the health of their employees and clients.
“For delivery people, we do a health check on you,” Nicholas said. “We take your temperature and you are required to wear a mask. For the employee who is delivering summer meals, she is required to wear gloves and a mask, and she is required to change those gloves at every location she goes to.”
The summer meal program will resume on Wednesday and Douglass Community Services resumed its Farm to Families produce program on Tuesday.
Sack lunches can be picked up at the food pantry of Douglass Community Services from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and the service just began last week before being temporarily halted to Wednesday. The Farm to Families produce program runs from 9 to 11 a.m.
“(The produce) is for pickup from the drive-thru lane at Douglass like you would go for the food pantry,” Nicholas said. “They can come and we'll give them one of these Farm to Family produce boxes.”
Douglass Community Services has a list of local food pantries on it's door to inform clients of other options when it is closed.
One of those other options is the Loaves and Fishes program, which is sponsored by Harvest Outreach Ministries through the Hannibal Nutrition Center. The Loaves and Fishes program is available Monday through Friday at the Hannibal Nutrition Center.
“We ask that you call and make a reservation the first time,” said Harvest Outreach Ministries independent consultant Amy Vaughn. “They just need to call us and let us know they are coming and we will get in the system. After they pickup the meal, we will ask if they want a ticket for the next meal and they can get a ticket, which helps the Nutrition Center plan for counting.”