Coronavirus: Precautions for the Deaconess Community

Deaconess Community,

Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the official opening and consecration of Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being. Since March 1, 2018 more than 30,000 citizens have engaged with and at Deaconess Center to build power and advance a child-focused policy agenda. This agenda prioritizes family economic mobility, early childhood education, justice and equity for youth and access to comprehensive health care.

As a hub for this critical community convening, we feel obligated to support public health efforts by being a source of responsible communication. We also recognize the precautions we should take as a space for community gathering. As you may know, Coronavirus (CoVid-19), a respiratory illness with flu-like symptoms, reached 60 confirmed cases in the U.S. and entered a stage of community transmission.

We are taking common sense steps to assure safety at Deaconess Center and invite you to join us in doing the same. Our response is informed by our national partners in the United Church of Christ and local Partners caring for children in the Saint Louis Public Schools and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. (Please see the links here for complete statements and resources from our Partners.)

At Deaconess Center, you will notice a few adjustments. We have increased the interval of cleaning and disinfecting for all key, high-use surfaces. Additional containers of alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available in all areas of the Center. We are aligning communications platforms to be able to share news on any building adjustments or alerts which may need to be shared in case of additional evolution of community transmission.

Here are a number of precautionary measures our partners at the United Church of Christ shared with us, which we further commend to you, especially our Co-locating Partners and Center-Based Initiatives housed at Deaconess Center.

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces used regularly.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with someone who is sick.
  • Practice these precautionary measures at home and pass this information along to family and friends.

If you have traveled internationally during the last fourteen (14) days, feel sick with fever or cough, or have difficulty breathing, the Centers for Diseases Control has several recommendations:

  • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

To help us all stay informed, please visit the following sites regularly.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services:
City of St. Louis:
St. Louis County:
Centers for Disease Control:

Feel free to share additional information or suggested precautions with me or our Center Manager, David Nehrt-Flores. We look forward to keeping our community healthy, in order to be sure our children are well.

For our children,

Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson
President & CEO
Deaconess Foundation