In the face of the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, OBSID has developed an action plan to mitigate risk, while still delivering essential services and assisting the community. We have adopted strict hygiene protocols in line with international guidelines in our offices to ensure the well-being of our staff.

We acknowledge that the situation is changing, and that our plan and approach will adapt based on national instructions as well as emerging best practice.

We will balance the need for continuity of essential public safety, cleaning and social-development services with protecting the well-being of our staff and contributing to reducing infection rates.

Should the situation change in a way that threatens these services, we will rely on community partners to devise suitable strategies.

For now, we have implemented daily shift health checks and are making sure that anyone who is unwell is supported with information as well as time away from work.

We’ll be issuing our staff with personal hygiene packs for their trips to and from work and if necessary, shift times will be changed to reduce the time our staff spend travelling during peak hours.  We are constantly assessing the situation and will develop contingencies as necessary to ensure that we continue with our core programmes for as long as we are able – or allowed to.

Our partners have also initiated protocols within their team to minimise the spread of the virus – including issuing guidelines as regards distancing, the use of disposable gloves and hand sanitiser when out in the community and what to do if they start to feel unwell.

We are currently investigating options to facilitate public hand washing stations at various locations in Observatory.  These stations would be available for use by anyone who needs them.  We may also install more temporary toilet facilities, provided we can negotiate with relevant suppliers for maintenance and sanitation.

We are planning an outreach programme with the homeless community to support and educate them about transmission and what to do if they show symptoms.  We’re also looking  into what other services this vulnerable community may require during this time.

We’re working closely with our “Streetscapes in Observatory” programme beneficiaries to support them – as well as sharing learnings with Streetscapes themselves.  We are also in contact with other NGOs working with this community as well as the relevant groups within the ObsCAN network to develop our response and coordinate our efforts as much as possible.

We will do everything we can to counter the spread of infection, to keep our staff and the staff of our service providers safe and to maintain our services in Observatory.  We’ll post further updates as relevant.

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