Keeping “Rona” at Bay 

For the past 4 months, we have been struggling with our unwelcome House guest – Rona – and we made several concessions to this horrid virus to keep everyone safe and well at RMHC Augusta.  We stopped accepting new families into the House on March 20, closed all common areas of the House, and created a new way to provide meals to our families (Room Service).  It’s been a lifetime since we welcomed new families and had volunteers serve dinner in the dining room….BUT those days are slowly coming back!!  I am so happy to announce that we have begun a phased-in Mission Renewal for the House. 


On June 8 we started with Phase 1 which allowed us to house up to 10 families who fall into the following criteria: 

  1. Long term stays only (more than 5 nights) 
  1. Oncology, NICU, PICU or outpatient with several appointments to satisfy 5-day stay requirement 
  1. Limit of 2 adults for each patient…no other children allowed at this time
  1. Negative Covid-19 test is taken in the week prior to arriving 
  1. 14 days quarantine or isolation prior to arriving 
  1. Agree to Daily Wellness Checks 
  1. Agree to limit exposure by visiting only the Hospital and House 


Following 14 days of no COVID (or Rona) in the House, we can enter Phase 2, which means we will add 4 more families to the House but maintain the above criteria.  Phase 3 follows 14 days later with the same requirements of Phases 1 & 2, adding 4 more families and work from home staff will move back into the House.  In the final phase, Phase 4 comes 28 days later if Rona stays away.  This will mark our new normal and hopefully will arrive in early August.  At that point volunteers, meal groups, and all families will be welcome.  There will be program and operational modifications, but we will be fully operational.   


I am extremely proud of the staff of our House and their ability to adapt and pivot at a moment’s notice.  We have modified virtually everything about how we do things, including virtually doing lots of meetings and fundraising.  We have always had 1 staff member in the House and each person has kept us going and open.  Thank you, Nikia, Alaya, Andrew, Malique, Faith, Shakira, Trene, Tobi, Floretha, and Tina for keeping us operational!  Chris, Payton, and I have hunkered down at home and tried to keep the bills paid. 


That brings me to my final point of pride; our donors.  You are all phenomenal and have taken such good care of us while we take care of our families.  Our source of donations has changed with events and corporate giving threatened, but our individual donors are carrying the load and keeping us open.  To each of you, I humbly and gratefully say THANK YOU.  I have no other words, other than thank you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.