As the COVID-19, (Novel Coronavirus 2019), risk evolves in Connecticut and the Tri-State area, The Housing Authority of the City of Meriden, (MHA) is implementing appropriate and well-informed protections for MHA staff and the families we serve. In our actions, we are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/, the Connecticut Department of Public Health https://portal.ct.gov/dph, and the actions of other public housing authorities around the country facing a similar task. This is our top priority!
Education on Prevention/Containment
Across our properties, MHA has posted literature, in multiple languages and utilizing graphics where possible, based upon guidance from the CDC for preventing the spread of viruses like the coronavirus. You can view or download samples of these materials below. We will update our messages as needed as circumstances change. We are also working with partners including the Community Health Center, https://www.chc1.com/locations/meriden/ Meriden Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.meridenct.gov/government/departments/health-and-human-services/ and others to disperse effective information about the coronavirus.
Enhanced In-Building Measures
The MHA has:
- Closed all common areas of Community Towers (effectively suspending resident council meetings, bingo and other large gatherings) until further notice.
- Increased the frequency of disinfecting common spaces, elevators, and offices to sanitize surfaces and inhibit the spread of the virus.
- Ordered additional disinfectant sprays, wipes, and other items considered effective at this stage for all locations.
- Posted clear guidance at the entrance to all buildings for all visitors not to enter if they have risk factors.
“Social-Distancing” and Operational Changes
MHA is closely following public health guidance to determine how business-as-usual will need to change in these difficult circumstances, even as we work to provide the services for which people depend on us. Right now, MHA has:
- Suspended all customer meetings at the main office located at 22 Church. The main office lobby will be open to customers for document drop off. Staff can be reached at (203) 235-0157 or via email.
- Asked employees to avoid external meetings and large internal meetings when possible.
- Take responsibility for sanitizing workspaces and maintaining “social distance” in the workplace
- Educate themselves using materials we have provided about proper hygiene to prevent the spread of illness.
- Stay home and see a doctor if they are ill.
We are reassessing policies daily. In doing so, we rely heavily on guidance from the State of Connecticut and Connecticut health officials with regard to what are considered prudent measures based upon COVID-19 prevalence in the state.
What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 in an MHA building?
Health officials are aware that the MHA and other public housing authorities serve a population with higher risk factors. These officials have informed MHA that in the event that a resident tests positive for COVID-19, standard protocols would apply as they would for any other resident of Connecticut:
- The individual would receive instructions to receive proper medical care and self-quarantine for a recommended period, and would be expected to comply.
- Depending upon needs and other forms of support, city resources could come into play with providing food and other resources to the affected tenant.
Depending upon the circumstances, health officials might recommend or enforce additional measures to protect the public health. MHA would support and comply with these measures.
MHA would not be notified in any formal way of a positive diagnosis. Under the law, the MHA is a landlord, not a health care provider. This prohibits us from asking about or sharing the health-related information of tenants. In the event of a positive case, public health officials would manage the situation.
- What you Need to Know about Covid-19, English: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
- What you Need to Know about Covid-19, Spanish: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet-sp.pdf
- What to do if you are sick, English: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf
- What to do if you are sick, Spanish: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet-sp.pdf
- Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019, English: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID19-symptoms.pdf
- Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019, Spanish: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID19-symptoms-sp.pdf
Latest information on Corona Virus from the Connecticut Department of Health https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
Printable posters and handouts are also available from the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/factsheets.html