COVID-19 Update

3/15/2020

Good afternoon.  At EPU, we realize that the communities we serve are concerned about the impact that the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus may have on their health, their well-being, home & work life, and much more.  We know that each parent, family, and staff person understands and handles this new reality differently.  We are taking this seriously and are working to provide a variety of alternatives within our current programming.


It is clear that both the Fresno County Public Health Department and the State of CA are taking this threat very seriously.  This afternoon, Governor Newsom announced additional restrictions and guidance, including asking that individuals 65+ isolate themselves at home.  We know that, while many of our programs serve young children, their caretakers and families sometimes include individuals in this 65+ category.  We also know that most of the school districts in Fresno County closed last Friday, with many school-age children now being asked to stay home for the next month.


EPU is working with our funding partners to identify ways to continue services to families that desire to receive them, within the restrictions that have been laid out by the Health Dept and State.  We are working to limit group meetings to only those that are necessary and cannot be cancelled/postponed, and to work towards concepts like social distancing and limiting interactions.  We are looking at ways to provide phone/video support to families participating in our Assessment Center for Children and Infant Family Programs.  And we are looking at all of our home visiting programs, to evaluate our ability to deliver these services safely, both for families we serve and for our staff.


Our team will begin this week reaching out to clients prior to appointments, to ask some basic screening questions.  We would also ask that the families we serve limit their visits for service to the immediate parents/caretakers and child(ren) participating in the service.   We also ask that if you or someone in your home is sick, especially with flu-like or cold symptoms, that you not come to our offices, and contact our office for more information and to reschedule your appointment.  And finally, if your child or someone in your home is medically-fragile, please consider how we can support you without a visit to our offices. 


We will continue to provide more updates in the coming days as the reality of this situation changes.  Our leadership team is working diligently to find ways to support the families and children in our programs, and will continue to make an effort to share resources and supportive services as they are available.  Thank you for your understanding, and please stay tuned for more information to come soon.  Again, should you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly at ceo@epuchildren.org or 559.229.2000.  Thank you.


Lowell J. Ens, CEO