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MESSAGE TO MEMBERS - Monday, March 23, 2020
Dear JCC Members,
I reach out to you today at a time of great uncertainty and concern amid the COVID-19 crisis. As we continue to monitor the evolving realities of this pandemic, it is clear that we will have to extend the closure of our facilities beyond the originally anticipated two weeks. We will continue to follow the guidance from, and in accordance with the CDC and state and local authorities.
While the New Orleans JCC usually represents a vibrant, bustling space for our members to congregate, socialize, learn and play, our buildings feel especially empty during our closure while we practice social distancing. Although we cannot be physically present for you during this time, our board and leadership want you to know that we are quickly adapting and learning new ways to foster community and stay connected. Our staff has done a great job this past week transitioning nursery school lessons to a digital format, fitness classes into live streams, ballet lessons to video, and more. For more information on how we are working to bring our programs directly into your homes, visit nojcc.org/VirtualJ.
At this time, we do not know how long we will need to remain closed, but out of duty to our JCC family and broader community we have continued to pay our employees. Many have continued to work from home, while others remain in contact with us awaiting the day we are able to open our doors again.
With this in mind, we understand that many of our members have questions regarding membership dues, and I want to address them transparently. Because of our continued fixed expenses, including the continued employment of our staff, we ask that those who feel financially comfortable paying their membership dues continue to do so. Your JCC membership has never been more vital than it is now. Any dues or program fees paid during our closure will be considered a tax-deductible contribution to the JCC. If you and your family have concerns about your ability to pay membership dues at this time, we understand and would like to hear from you so that we can discuss arrangements on an individual basis. Please click here for more information and instruction on membership dues and membership freezes.
Our priority at this time is the health and safety of our JCC family and the broader New Orleans population. Thank you for your patience and understanding at this unprecedented time. We remain committed to being a community despite our physical distance and look forward to safely moving past this so that we can continue to serve our members’ needs soon. Until then, stay connected with us virtually at nojcc.org/VirtualJ.
Message to Members - Friday, March 13, 2020
The JCC has been a special part of the community for 165 years and has faced many challenges during that time. We are now facing an unprecedented challenge with an unknown impact.
New Orleans JCC management and Board of Directors unanimously decided Thursday, March 12 to close both Uptown and Metairie campuses, including the JCC Nursery School and Pre-K, on Monday, March 16. This morning we were informed that an individual who visited the Uptown JCC earlier this week tested positive for COVID-19. Upon hearing this news, we notified the Louisiana Department of Health and made the decision to close at 5:00 PM Friday, March 13.
Please know that we did not make this decision without careful research and conversation with trusted medical advisors. Medical experts tell us that the only way to stop the spread of this virus is to distance ourselves from people, and the best way to do this is to close our facilities. At this point, we anticipate a two-week closure. Please understand the situation is fluid and evolving. This timeline may change as more information becomes available from the CDC and local health professionals.
We know that our members rely on the JCC to be open, often when other facilities are closed. After all, our business and mission is community. Please know that our staff continues to work during this closure to ensure that when we are able to reopen, we will be able to do so quickly and safely.
While we may not be able to engage with each other in person, we can maintain the strength of our community in other ways. We are working with our staff to provide opportunities for members to connect remotely, even if it is not possible to be together at the J. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation as we navigate these difficult and unprecedented times.
Keep Our Community Healthy – It’s a Partnership
We all have a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Your health and safety is our top priority, and we ask that you help reduce the spread of illness by following these guidelines:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
- Please wipe down your equipment in the fitness center before and after use. Place used towels in the designated baskets.
An estimated 80% of COVID-19 cases may have no or mild symptoms, meaning that even if you don’t think you are sick or if you are not at risk for severe illness, you should still practice these hygiene habits to protect yourself and those around you.
Thank you for supporting our organization during this challenging time.