Dear HEPPAC participants, supporters, and partner organizations:
We are writing to acknowledge and address the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) pandemic, and in particular how it is spreading and emerging in Oakland and the East Bay. As providers of harm reduction services we are committed to ensuring our participants have access to safe and plentiful harm reduction materials, and especially in times of crisis. However, we also recognize that our dedicated staff who provide these services may be especially at risk for the spread of viral diseases like COVID-19 due to being in the public. While providing services, staff will be geared up with medical Personal Protective Equipment PPE and practicing social distancing.
COVID-19 Universal Precautions (Isolation helps decrease the spread of the virus)
- Clean your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (approximately the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday, two times)
- Practice social distancing while at work (6ft away as much as possible)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Look out for symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing
- If you are sick, and able to, stay home, unless you are seeking medical care
- While sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, and wash your hands
- Use universal precautions when handing items you may have to touch.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with cleaning products that
are 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite (bleach)
- Wear a mask or cloth face covering when going out in public
Current Services during COVID-19 Shelter in Place
Syringe Service Programs SSP sites: Fixed and mobile sites in Oakland and Contra Costa County will operate as food truck style at the window services only – staff on the van will use gloves when gathering and handing out supplies, will change gloves frequently. If staff happens to exchange touch with a participant, gloves will be properly discarded post transaction. We will ensure the RV is stocked with 60% alcohol hand sanitizer for both staff and participant use. All surfaces in the outreach mobile vans will be cleaned continuously during shifts with cleaning products that are 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite (bleach). Staff will also wear cloth or N95 face masks at all times when interacting with participants.
Drop-in Center will operate as door-service only – staff at the site will use gloves when gathering and handing out supplies, will change gloves if comes direct contact with participants or their items. We will ensure 60% alcohol hand sanitizer is available for both staff and participant use. All surfaces at drop-in sites will be cleaned continuously during shifts with cleaning products that are 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite (bleach). Staff will also wear face masks at all times when interacting with participants
Current Resources / Data
For more information on the spread of COVID-19, both locally and nationally, please visit
Harm Reduction updates/resources: www.harmreduction.org
Alameda County infection data: http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx
Center for Disease Control CDC www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
PPE YouTube Training Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi_tXapx-hQ
If you’re experiencing symptoms seek medical attention immediately. Testing locations for employees and health care workers are available.
We are encouraging our participants to stock up on extra supplies in case services are ordered to decrease or shut down. We will IMMEDIATELY post announcements on social media channels, our website, and through participant gate keeper’s word of mouth at our outreach sites.