An Update on Our Response to The Circumstances Surrounding COVID-19
Please check this space for the most up-to-date information about RMHC CTX’s response to COVID-19. Most recent update: 6/3/20
The entire team at RMHC CTX has been working tirelessly as the COVID-19 situation has evolved in Central Texas. We appreciate the patience and understanding of our community and network as we work through our operations plan keeping our focus on the well-being of the families we serve (most of whom have children with compromised immune systems). As a member of our generous community of supporters, we would like to share the following updates about our community engagement:
- At this time we are asking all prospective meal providers to consider purchasing an individually portioned meal to be delivered from a restaurant. A full calendar of upcoming meal dates is available here. Alternatively, any community member can make a donation, which can help cover the cost of a meal and provide other comforts of home. We look forward to welcoming outside meal provider groups in the future.
- We have suspended all individual volunteer shifts in the Ronald McDonald House, in Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, and for the Happy Wheels Carts until further notice. We do, however, have ways you can volunteer from home.
- We welcome your support and need it more than ever! We do request that all donated items are sent through a delivery service such as Amazon – our wish lists can be found here.
- Starlight Affair has been postponed to August 29th, and are currently making modifications to plans for Bandana Ball, which is still scheduled for September 19th. The RMHC CTX website will continue to be updated as we confirm details related to these events.
RMHC CTX has also made the following changes to our program operations in order to protect guest families and their hospitalized children.
Ronald McDonald House:
- After a temporary suspension of new guest families, the Ronald McDonald House will begin checking in new families as of Wednesday, June 3, up to a 50% guest room capacity of our facilities. New guest family admissions require new conditions that must be met for a family to qualify for a guest room. These conditions will be communicated to referred families by both our partner hospitals’ staff and our Guest Services staff.
- We have implemented new policies and procedures in order to keep current families and new guest families safe. We are limiting the number and type of outside visitors into the Ronald McDonald House – only two parents/caregivers along with the patient’s siblings are permitted to stay, and we are not permitting guest visitors at this time. We continue to conduct our regular procedure to screen all incoming families for contagious illnesses and have also begun daily symptom screening of all guest families. Guest families and staff are required to wear masks when in communal spaces, and our whole building will continue to receive more frequent, detailed cleaning.
- As it pertains to our staff members, many team members will continue to work from home and will not represent RMHC CTX at any 3rd party fundraisers or presentations until further notice. All non-essential meetings are being held virtually – either by phone or video conference.
Ronald McDonald Family Rooms:
- While volunteers have not been able to support families in our Ronald McDonald Family rooms, several partner hospitals have continued inviting families to stay overnight in Sleep Rooms on a case-by-case basis.
- We have begun the process of working with each individual partner hospital to assess a timeline for expanding use of Sleep Rooms and reopening Family Room community spaces with RMHC CTX staff on-site.
Happy Wheels Carts:
- We have suspended volunteer shifts pushing our Happy Wheels Carts through the hospital halls have been until further notice. Supplies and refreshments from the Happy Wheels Carts have been distributed by hospital staff on a limited basis in the Brazos Valley.
- We are working with each individual partner hospital to plan for alternative ways to distribute these important support items for families staying at their child’s bedside.
- For families who have experienced tragic loss, we continue to provide financial assistance for burial services.
- We have suspended use of our Community Room for bereavement counseling.
We continue to closely monitor guidance from government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Labor, our RMHC Global leadership and others, regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) and continue to follow their direction. Throughout the global health crisis, we continue to serve families with hospitalized children who are inside hospitals each and every day. We are grateful to our entire community for your continued support, which is so critical during this time.