We are sensitive to the growing concern surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) across our communities, and our hearts go out to all those who’ve been impacted. As parents, families, mentors and leaders, our number one priority is the health and safety of our next generation and community. As the situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, we are doing everything we can limit our exposure to this. Therefore, based on current guidance and our own standards and practices, we will suspend all public engagements until June 1st 2020 (unless noted otherwise).

This order is to take affect immediately and any prior public commitments and planned public engagements from today until June 1st 2020 will have to be rearranged, withdrawn or canceled. Practices, meetings and small engagements however, will continue as scheduled unless otherwise noted. In addition we must remain vigilant and do our part to practice proper illness prevention. Some coronavirus (COVID-19) resources that may help you stay informed and update on simple steps you can take to avoid illness.  The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website has great information and resources about Coronavirus and answers to frequently asked questions about the virus available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

In addition, the CDC recommends every day preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

We also encourage you to stay informed about Coronavirus by following updates and advice from the local public health authority in your area. We will continue to monitor information from these public health authorities and will follow their guidance in concern for our community.

COVID-19 LAO COMMUNITY RESPONSE TEAM OF GEORGIA

On April 2, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order in response to COVID-19, issuing a stay-in-shelter order for the State of Georgia. However, the Laotian communities across the state are faced with an unprecedented dilemma. Since our community is comprised of 63% foreign-born origins as well as 39% limited English proficiency, it is apparent that we have a large aging population in our community. In addition to these figures, the 40% of our community is living in poverty whereas 7% will be living with low income.

While many of our elders are rely on aid and assistance of various programs government and nongovernment programs, the reality is that it is supplemented by their own families. These families, however, make up many of Georgia’s workforce in various sectors from manufacturing to construction. With many recent lay-offs and furloughs, there is no doubt that these families were impacted thus
creating a strain to the elderly’s financial health.

Also as per the CDC’s public statements, the most at risk to the coronavirus are the elderly. With irrational food supply and sanitary good shortages, combined with the shelter-in-place orders, the elderly are left in a precarious situation. While the majority of the population will be isolated from one another and get through this crisis unscathed, our concern is the wellbeing of the elderly that are left to endure this with little to no resources or supplies. Therefore to assist the seniors of the Laotian community in Georgia, we along Lao Asian Community Services of Georgia (LACSSGA) and M&S Homecare have collaborated to create the COVID-19 Lao Community Response Team of Georgia.

The purpose of this response team is to provide food security and sanitary goods to the community elderly in the under-served communities. Our goal for this response team is to provide sustainability through care packages to the elderly of the community through these uncertain times. By supplementing the basic necessities and delivering these goods to their place of residence, we want to give peace of mind to the community seniors. This response team is to remain in operation until all shelter-in-place order has been lifted and that it is deemed safe for the elderly to leave their residence.