COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Update

COVID 19 Update

Date 27th March

It is now more than two weeks since the Government introduced steps to deal with the COVID 19 crisis. Respond have adapted and worked hard to adopt the Government and public health advisories. The health and safety of our employees, tenants and services users has remained our top priority. Staff across various departments in Respond are remote working where possible and we have systems in place to ensure continuity of service to all our partners, stakeholders and clients. We will continue to monitor and act on the public health advice.

Our Response

We have prepared for these eventualities and the following safety measures are in place:

  • Receptions areas are closed.
  • No visitors will be accepted to any of our offices that share premises with homeless services.
  • Non-service staff working on sites where services and offices co-exist have been asked to work remotely or from home as a precautionary measure to reduce footfall and lower the risk of cross contamination to staff and service users who continue to use the premises.
  • Staff will not be carrying out unnecessary home or site visits.
  • We are in regular contact with our tenants.
  • Early Childhood Care and Education services are closed.
  • Day-care for Older People services are closed.
  • Our Customer Service Centre is operating remotely for any assistance tenants may require.
  • Our Homeless Services remain operational given we are providing emergency accommodation plus 24/7 support.  We are adapting our practice based on public health advice to reduce risk including:
  • Facilities for hand washing and sanitising have been increased.
  • Social distancing guidelines (2m) are being communicated and enforced.
  • Additional deep cleaning of all premises is taking place on a more frequent basis.
  • Staff on duty are working in separate rooms and having face-to-face contact only when absolutely necessary.
  • Signage is updated as often as the HSE updates their guidelines and is issued to services as soon as it is circulated by the HSE.

Please continue to call our Customer Service Centre for any assistance you may require.

Thank you

We can only continue doing what we do with the support and co-operation of our wonderful staff. We particularly want to acknowledge the work of our frontline staff in homeless services who are doing everything they can to help and support families using our services during this challenging time and also our Housing Team who are linking with our tenants around the country reaching out to those who are elderly or more vulnerable. So much great work is happening in our teams around the country who are coming together to address to this crisis. We are very appreciative and proud to work alongside them.

We would also like to publicly acknowledge with thanks the support and co-operation we have received from our tenants, service users, stakeholders and partners as we all continue to play our part.

Take care and stay safe.

Date 18th March 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a new social welfare payment for employees and self-employed people who are unemployed or who have their hours of work reduced during the COVID 19 pandemic. This includes people who have been put on part-time or casual work.

You can apply for the payment if you are aged between 18 and 66 and have lost employment due to the coronavirus restrictions. Students who have lost employment can also apply. It will be paid for up to 6 weeks and has a simple one–page application form.

The new payment aims to get a social welfare payment to unemployed people quickly.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been told to self-isolate by your GP, you should apply for Illness benefit.

You can find an application form and further information here.

Date: 13th March 2020

Following the Government announcements on COVID-19, we are responding proactively and taking on-board the recommendations from the public health authorities. The health and safety of our employees, tenants and services users is the most important thing to us. We are adapting our approach to different settings dependent on the nature of the work. Staff across various departments in Respond have commenced remote working and we would like to reassure you that we have systems in place to ensure continuity of service to all. We have been preparing and planning for these eventualities and the following safety measures have been rolled out effective immediately;

  • Receptions areas will be closed.
  • No visitors will be accepted to any of our offices that share premises with homeless services.
  • Where staff can work from home they will be doing so in order to maintain, in so far as practicable, service delivery to all our stakeholders.
  • Staff will not be carrying out unnecessary home or site visits.
  • Early Childhood Care and Education services are closed.
  • Day-care for Older People services are closed.
  • Our Homeless Services remain operational given we are providing emergency accommodation plus 24/7 support.  We are adapting our practice based on public health advice to reduce risk.

Our services to our tenants continue please call our Customer Services Centre on 01 808 7700 for any assistance you may require.

We know that this is a worrying time for people but the steps we have taken today to promote social distancing including closing services and working from home greatly reduces the risks to all of our employees, tenants and service users.

We ask that you bear with us at this time and apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

COVID 19 (Coronavirus)
Date: 09th March 2020
There has been a lot of information and news for tenants regarding COVID 19 virus. You will probably be aware from media and social media reports that there are now a number of confirmed case of coronavirus (covid-19) in the Republic of Ireland.

The risk of catching coronavirus in Ireland is still low to moderate. This may change. However, most people may continue to go to work, school and other public places, as usual. If you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, a public health doctor will tell you this.

Measures to protect yourself are the similar in terms of protecting yourself from most infections these include washing your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.

This is only a guide but close contact can mean:

  • spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person
  • living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should:

  • isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone
  • phone their GP, or emergency department
  • in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999

For more up-to-date information see:
The Health Service Executive website https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/coronavirus/

UPDATE POSTED: 06th March 2020