Dear Giant Steps families, volunteers, supporters, and staff:
With the news about the coronavirus continuing to unfold, we know you’re all worried about your own personal safety and that of your family members.
We want to let you know right away that we are aware of no cases of COVID-19 in our Giant Steps community. Rather, this note is to make you aware of the precautions we are taking, and to make some requests of you.
As we are sure you have read, the California Department of Health and others, recommend the following procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home when you or your rider is sick. If anyone has an elevated fever, we ask that you stay home until they have a normal temperature for over 24 hours without the use of medication.
- Stay home if you have been traveling internationally, or in an area with significant incidence of COVID-19.
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing noses. Help young children do the same. If hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water to clean hands.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and clean hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not readily available).
- Get flu shots for anyone six months and older during the flu season. (CDC)
In addition, if you come into contact with someone who may have had exposure to coronavirus, or who seems to have been in a high risk situation, please notify us. (Email addresses are below.)
What We Are Doing
Here at Giant Steps, we are asking each rider and volunteer to wash their hands when they arrive, and when they leave. We are shortening classes by five minutes so that each volunteer can also wash their hands between classes. We are cleaning reins and other tack throughout the day. If you have hand sanitizer or wipes to donate, we will gladly accept.
One way that families can also help is to bring a scarf or bandana for us to use to catch any over-active salivary glands. We will tuck those into the chin strap on our helmets – hopefully minimizing the spread of saliva on difficult-to-clean surfaces.
We will continue to reevaluate the situation on a daily basis and plan for the coming days and weeks, and will cancel lessons as indicated. Changes in the status of those identified with the outbreak are happening rapidly. Please check this link from the California Department of Health for up-to-date information.
Your safety and good health are our most important priorities. Every step we take is with those priorities in mind.
Beth C. Porter