COVID-19 – What You Need to Know

Person wearing a mask looks at the camera

Dear Community Members –

We are living through the very difficult reality of the novel coronavirus, which has now been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. While we see many workplaces closing down, our responsibility as a healthcare organization one that primarily serves people who have been systemically excluded from healthcare, housing, and economic stability – is to stay open and do our part of the public health response to this pandemic. I am so deeply grateful to our staff for doing their part in this crisis.

As we urgently address the many facets of the unprecedented coronavirus situation, I want you to know that it is my intention to share information we have, when we have it, during these quickly changing times. I know that everyone is doing their best to remain calm despite a highly anxiety-provoking situation with a lot of unknown components. Updated information about the coronavirus as we endure this crisis can be found here.

Earlier this week, Callen-Lorde began responding to the ever-changing situation with coronavirus by implementing an incident command structure, as is recommended in emergency management situations. Chief Medical Officer, Peter Meacher; Chief Nursing Officer, Anthony Fortenberry; Chief Operating Officer, Christine Smoot-Lowers and I are providing centralized incident response management, in conjunction with a group of internal advisors as well as teams managing particular pieces of work, including clinical operations, staff related policies, communications, resource management and infection control, and finance and regulatory issues. The incident management leadership and advisory teams are meeting daily.

We have increased cleaning procedures at all locations both during the day and at night. Masks are being provided to anyone experiencing symptoms as they enter our sites. We are asking patients who are experiencing symptoms or who have been in contact with somebody who has, call our main phone line at 212.271.7200 to be screened so we can best help them. PLEASE DO NOT WALK IN TO THE HEALTH CENTER. If our staff are experiencing symptoms, we are asking them to stay home from work.

Our pharmacies have been ramping up capacity for delivery to help minimize the number of people who need to come into Callen-Lorde sites. If you use a Callen-Lorde pharmacy and need a refill, please call (877) 436-3452 or visit our pharmacy website to request a refill, and choose “delivery” at check out.

All of us at Callen-Lorde are aware of the intense stigma surrounding disease and disability, and of the racism, classism, transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, and ableism that can come into play. Please be ever vigilant to avoid/undo stigma toward staff and patients.

As this situation unfolds, we will continue to provide updates as we receive them. If you have specific questions, we will do our best to address them. Please use our secure form here.

With deepest gratitude,

Wendy Stark
Executive Director