Like all of you, we have closely followed the developing situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. MCEA is committed to following the science and responding to the lead of scientists. We are also committed to doing our part to support and protect our community.
Practical steps can slow the spread of COVID-19. Every action that prevents the transmission of the virus from one person to another can break a chain that spreads the virus more widely. Scientific evidence is clear: reducing social contact now can slow the spread and prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed.
In response, MCEA is taking the following measures to do our part, starting today:
- All MCEA staff will work remotely whenever possible and we are providing them resources needed to do so. Face-to-face meetings will be replaced with teleconferencing whenever possible. MCEA is not closing, we are conducting business as usual, but remotely.
- We have rescheduled all events in March and April and will take our lead from scientists and health care experts on when it is prudent to reschedule them.
- Our legislative and legal teams will conduct as much business remotely as possible, including monitoring legislative activities by video and using phone and teleconference when meeting with clients, community groups, and legislators. These changes will not prevent us from doing our work to defend Minnesota’s environment and the health of its people.
We encourage our supporters to learn about best practices to slow the spread of COVID-19 and join us in taking steps to limit person to person transmission. One resource that informed our response is the Minnesota Department of Health's website.
We recognize that our ability to take these actions is possible because of the nature of our work and the privilege to be able to do this work remotely. We encourage all of our supporters to follow the advice of scientists and health professionals to limit social interactions. We also recognize for some people this will be difficult or impossible. We are making the choices that are possible for our staff now to support all community members.
To be clear, no staff member or any person connected to MCEA has been diagnosed with COVID-19. We are not taking these actions out of fear of any immediate threat to the health of our staff and supporters, but to do our part to support our community.
These are trying times. If we all listen to scientists and health care experts, and each do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19, we can support and protect our community. MCEA is doing what we can as part of a broader response to make our community stronger and safer.
Kathryn Hoffman Chief Executive Officer Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy