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CENTRAL ILLINOIS FOODBANK RESPONDS TO POSITIVE COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS

Central Illinois Foodbank’s priority during the COVID-19 pandemic is to continue to provide emergency food assistance for central and southern Illinois, which is currently experiencing a significant increase in demand to the nearly 100,000 neighbors we serve in our communities.

In accord with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, the Foodbank has been actively monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and taking proactive measures to protect the health and well-being of our staff, volunteers and neighbors as we continue to serve our community during this critical time.

On Sunday, September 6, 2020, the Foodbank learned that a staff member working in our warehouse tested positive for COVID-19. This followed notification Friday evening, September 4th that a temporary employee working at the Foodbank had also tested positive for COVID-19. The Sangamon County Public Health Department will conduct contact tracing with regard to these 2 positive tests.

The warehouse is closed for a four day holiday weekend (September 4th -7th)  and was thoroughly disinfected by a professional company after learning of the first positive COVID 19 test result Friday evening.  The Foodbank will continue to follow CDC guidelines to protect our staff, volunteers, partner agencies and neighbors and others who enter our facility from possible exposure to COVID-19.

The Foodbank will re-open following its four day Labor Day weekend break on Tuesday September 8th.  We will be fully operational at that time and compliant with all CDC guidelines. These include

our proactive health safety measures, such as mandating the use of gloves for packing and sorting, sanitizing high-touch common surfaces, wearing face masks and requiring staff and encouraging volunteers and staff to wash and sanitize hands, as well as sanitize equipment between usage. In addition, approximately two months ago, the Foodbank installed an air purification system throughout the offices and the sort area.

The Foodbank initiated our social distancing practices and increased sanitary and safety procedures on March 13, 2020. Because of this, the exposure risk to our staff, volunteers or the neighbors we serve has been very low.

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About Central Illinois Foodbank:

Central Illinois Foodbank, established in 1982, distributes 9 million pounds of food annually to over 160 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs in a 21-county region. Central Illinois Foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization. The mission of the Foodbank is to provide food, and develop awareness of and creative solutions for food insecurity.

MEDIA CONTACT: Pam Molitoris, 217-414-9539, pmolitoris@centralilfoodbank.org

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