As infections in the U.S. rose past 1,500, three days ago concerns about the coronavirus, or COVID-19, resulted in a state of national emergency for the U.S. Because of this and advice like the recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to cancel events with more than 50 people, Executive Director of Affirmations Dave Garcia addressed changes to the Ferndale LGBTQ community center's schedule.
Notably, Spring Bash, Affirmations' annual spring fundraiser has been moved to the fall, and its fall wine event has moved to the summer months. As of the time of this article's publication, the center's doors will remain open for group meetings with some exceptions like the Senior Koffee Klatch, which is made up of high-risk members.
Smokers and those with compromised immune systems are also discouraged from visiting the center until further notice. Garcia added that video conferencing technology will be implemented to "mitigate" the social isolation that many seniors already feel during this time of social distancing.
"This isn't exactly the first virus that the LGBT community has tackled together. And we got this," he said. "If we stay together, stay smart, stay safe, stay calm, wash your hands, we're going to be fine."