Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

March 12, 2020 Update

To our clients and volunteers,

By now pretty much everyone should be aware of the current Coronavirus, COVID-19, that is traveling the globe. Although it is and can be serious to some, so can many other viruses, including the flue that goes around every year.

We are in no way trying to downplay COVID-19, it is serious, but for most recoverable. There is currently no vaccine, so our main focus is and should be on prevention of community spread, especially to those most vulnerable.

Most vulnerable according to the, CDC, are the elderly and anyone who has a weakened immune system or other underlying conditions, which would include infants and women who are pregnant.

The Berlin Food Pantry is concerned for both our clients and our volunteers and wants to do its best to try and protect both. We are also concerned about any interruption in service and what it could mean to our clients.

We are asking our clients to also help us in this effort by observing the following guidelines.

From the Pantry standpoint

1. If you are sick, stay home, do not come to the pantry. This not only helps to protect all of our clients, but helps to protect our volunteers and prevent the potential closure of the pantry.

2. We generally have plenty of inventory, so you might want to consider spacing out your arrival at the pantry so that we are not trying to crowd everyone in the building at once.

We will be limiting the number of clients allowed to enter at a given time.

3. Fill Out A Proxy. We hope that none of our clients become sick, but in case you do a proxy allows someone else to come and pick up your distribution for you.

Talk to your family, friends, or neighbors to identify someone, as a proxy, who is willing to come to pick up your distribution if you are not able to do so.

Proxy forms will be provided during distributions each Thursday, but if you need one sooner please call 920-745-0357 or email and we will make arrangements for you to get a form.

Thank you for your help in trying to keep all of us healthy.

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Additional recommendations from the CDC Website

Steps to Prevent Illness and Community Spread

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Steps to protect yourself

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid touching food with unwashed hands.

  • Wash produce before eating or slicing.

Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Steps to protect others

Stay home if you’re sick

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.NOTE: It is recommended that if you needed medical attention, call first before going to a medical facility.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

  • Throw used tissues in the trash.

  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

_ _ _

To disinfect:

Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

Options include:

Diluting your household bleach.

To make a bleach solution, mix:

5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water


4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.

  • Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date.

  • Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

  • Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

Alcohol solutions.

Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.

Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants.

Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

This institution is an equal opportunity provider