Coronavirus (COVID-19) Precautions + Closures
As of Wednesday, March 18
It is with sadness that we share with you we are cancelling our Vacation Days scheduled through April 3rd. This decision did not come lightly, as we realize some of you may need critical care. As an organization, we have been following the Kansas Health Department guidelines as we make decisions.
Please know we also understand this makes challenges for families who need critical care and for those families who have children in both our CDC and Vacation Day program. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this creates for your family. (The CDC facility is still open and operating for critical care.)
Should we be able to get further clarification at a later date, we will re-evaluate our options and ask our Board of Directors to reconsider opening the program. If that becomes a reality, we will immediately communicate with you. Thank you.
As of Monday, March 16
Dear Members, Guests, and Participants,
At The J, community is at the heart of who we are. As a community informed by Jewish values, our focus at this time is on Shimirat Ha’Guf: caring (lit: guarding) for the body. With that focus, and in following the recommendations of national and local Public Health guidelines, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close The J effective at 10 pm this evening, March 16th and will remain closed until April 3rd. This closure includes all programs and services except for critical childcare services, which will remain open for families with no other care options based on a request from the Johnson County Department of Health. We are in constant contact with government authorities and will continue to evaluate and follow recommended guidelines.
Rest assured that there have been no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at The J. This decision was made in concert with our Board of Directors to safeguard the health and well-being of our community. We believe this is the right course of action for now.
It is a very challenging time, and we recognize this has many implications as it temporarily takes you away from “your home away from home.” It is our intention to continue to build and engage our community in virtual ways, including the possibility of live-streaming fitness classes, dance lessons, and Jewish learning opportunities so you may continue to enrich your Mind + Body + Soul (Ha’asharah). As these opportunities become available, we will communicate to our members and participants through a variety of means.
Many of you have reached out with concern for the well-being of our employees, who are an integral part of our community. Despite the inevitable financial impact any closure will have, our Board of Directors has unanimously approved continuing to pay our employees during this initial period, by providing opportunities to work during the closure.
Please know that we take the investment you make in The J seriously, and we will stay in active communication with you as we determine next steps. As a caring community, let’s come together to support one another during this difficult time. We are very appreciative of your patience and support as we all navigate these unchartered waters together.
As of Saturday, March 14
With Johnson County’s recent declaration of a state of emergency prohibiting large public gatherings, comes the difficult decision to cancel our performances of The Last Night of Ballyhoo scheduled for Saturday, March 14, Sunday, March 15, and Thursday, March 19.
Our current plan is to continue with performances scheduled for March 21-22. Because circumstances are rapidly developing and evolving, we will continue to evaluate the situation and keep you informed as to any further adjustments in our schedule.
For ticket assistance or questions, please call The White Theatre Box Office at (913) 327-8054.
As of Friday, March 13
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, I want to update you as to our response at The J as of this afternoon. We are working diligently to review and evaluate all of our programs and events. We will take the appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of our Members, guests, and staff in accordance with the latest Health Department guidelines. It is a rapidly evolving situation and while we are making some initial announcements today, please continually monitor our website and your inbox for further announcements as the status could change very quickly.
In addition to the increased cleaning efforts and extensive sanitization procedures we have put in place and e-mailed out last week, we are taking the following additional precautions effective immediately.
As you are aware, the Centers for Disease Control has issued specific recommendations for individuals over the age of 60 and those who might have a compromised immune system. In an abundance of caution for our most vulnerable participants, we have decided to cancel all Heritage Center programming until after Passover, effective immediately.
White Theater & Events
As of now, our performances in the White Theater, including The Last Night of Ballyhoo, March 14-22, will go on as scheduled. To promote and maintain a healthy environment in the theatre, we are wiping down the armrests and the tops of seatbacks with sanitizing wipes before each performance, and not re-using playbills. The ushers and concession staff also are wearing gloves. View Full List of Proactive Measures
All other events are canceled until April 15th, including, but not limited to, Shabalala, Family CDC Passover Seders, and our Parkinson’s Line Dancing Event.
The Fitness Center will remain open during normal business hours. We have increased signage throughout the Fitness Center to remind members to wipe down equipment before and after each use. Our Fitness Center staff members are also disinfecting equipment, and we are taking other precautions in eliminating physical contact in group exercise or personal training instruction. We will continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Health Department recommendations and adapt our programming accordingly.
Early Childhood and School-Aged Services
At this point, neither the Kansas Department of Health and Environment or the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment has recommended school closures. To that end, our Child Development Center and After-School programming will remain open for the time being. We continue to reinforce with our children to keep basic health precautions top of mind, including proper hand-washing. We will be taking preemptive temperature checks of all children daily and discouraging children from holding hands. All special events within our CDC are canceled until further notice.
During this challenging time, please be assured we will continue to monitor the situation closely and will do all that we can to ensure a commitment to our community’s health and well-being. To all who are sick, I wish you Refuah Shlema (a full recovery) and to those who are well, please continue to be vigilant in washing your hands and avoiding physical contact with others.
A Message From the CEO
Coronavirus Message - March 4, 2020
At The J, the safety and well-being of our members, guests, and staff is our top priority. As the world monitors the news about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), I want to assure you that our leadership team is staying up-to-date on the situation. At this time, we are monitoring the situation and listening to recommendations and guidelines from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Johnson County Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We recently participated in a call with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, specifically for JCCs, to discuss this global concern.
Effective immediately, The J is implementing the following steps to decrease the chances of illness within our community. We will:
- Increase the number of anti-bacterial stations around the facility.
- Post signs in our bathrooms about proper hand-washing techniques.
- Modify and enhance our daily cleaning and sanitation protocols.
- Remind and retrain staff on procedures for sanitizing toys in our preschool, after-school care, and babysitting areas, equipment in the fitness center, as well as other surfaces throughout the facility.
- Increase our supplies of wipes, tissues, and sanitizing products to ensure adequate supply.
- Staff will make sure our youth program participants engage in frequent and proper hand washing.
- Our contracted cleaning professionals will ensure the use of high-level antiviral cleaning agents on a daily basis.
To promote and maintain a healthy environment here, we also ask you, our members and participants, to follow good health practices by doing the following:
- If you have a fever or are not feeling well and exhibit symptoms of illness, please make sure you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before returning to use the facilities or participate in any programs.
- Wash your hands often. Wash for 20 seconds with soap, rub between fingers and under nails, and then rinse and dry. Use alcohol (65%+) hand gel if sinks are not available.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- If you work out in The J’s Fitness Center, please use the sanitizing wipes provided throughout the Fitness Center to wipe down the equipment both before and after each use.
- Please do not send your children to The J if they are sick. If you are called to pick up a sick child from any of our programs, please arrive in a timely manner.
- Practice and teach children proper coughing and sneezing etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose with the crook of your arm.
- Traveling for spring break? Please familiarize yourself with information about the areas where infection rates are high, and the chance for the disease is heightened.
For more information about the Coronavirus, frequently asked questions, or how to mitigate the transmission of the disease, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for updates and guidance.
To ensure the safety of our community, we will continue to monitor this situation and regularly communicate and update guidelines as they are made available from local, state, and national authorities. We will maintain our commitment to mitigate exposure to and transmission of infectious disease within The J community and ask that each of you help in continuing to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of everyone.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.