ANCA COVID-19 Response

Dear ANCA Community,

The effects of COVID-19 are being felt throughout the ANCA Community and we are all struggling with very difficult decisions concerning our events, programs, staff, and communities. 

At this time, the April 2, 2020 ANCA Peer Meeting at Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Norfolk, MA has been canceled. We are still planning to launch registration for the September 2020 Summit in May and will keep you updated as we continue to monitor the situation. 

If you have drafted any policies, announcements, or other documents related to the COVID-19 response and are willing to share them with other ANCA members, please send them to Jen Levy, , or share them on the ANCA Google Discussion Forum. There have been several discussions on the forum about COVID-19 response and people are looking for help. 

Here are some tips, adapted from the Utah Nonprofits Association, on supporting your center staff and community:

  • If you are sick, model Best Practices and stay home.
  • Look at your organization’s budget and do a check-in on your cash flow. If you had to shut down for two weeks (or more), could you still pay your staff if revenue wasn’t flowing?
  • Encourage work from home where possible. 
  • Make disinfectant supplies (and soap!) widely available for all staff and encourage regular disinfecting. If you cannot clean a display or program materials (skins, skulls, etc.), move them out of sight temporarily. 
  • Do not schedule any mandatory in-person meetings for the next 2 weeks (possibly more depending on your location). Phones/Skype/Zoom meetings are great options. GoToMeetings offers a free three-month package to assist in remote meetings. 
  • Do not penalize staff if they have run out of PTO or sick time. Oftentimes, people come to work sick because they don’t have the ability to stay home. 
  • Be aware of area school closures and how that will impact your employees with school-aged children. 
  • Stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is infected with or at risk for the disease. Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger toward ordinary people. We want to remind everyone that this behavior is not acceptable. Please refer to the CDC web page Stigma and Resilience for additional guidance.

Always consult with your local health agencies and comply with any quarantine orders but remember, many of our centers provide access to trails and open spaces that are going to be critical to people at this time. They are havens, allowing for recreation and activity when people are discouraged from being in large crowds in theaters, restaurants, etc. We provide an incredibly important service. Let's keep that in mind as we move forward.

Please remember that the ANCA Peer Network is available when you need the support of your community. Let’s keep talking, emailing, and supporting each other through this demanding time. Our main concern is that we all remain healthy and able to continue the important work that we do. 

Please take care of yourselves,

Jen Levy, Executive Director
John DeFillipo, ANCA Board President