ECRAC's COVID-19 Precautions
ECRAC is temporarily closed again as of November 20, 2020, however, staff is available and working remotely. Call or email us for assistance or any questions you have.
The Minnesota arts community is using Springboard for the Arts' to share resources for artists and organizations with art events.
March 16, 2020 update
|Dear ECRAC community members,
Like many organizations, the East Central Regional Arts Council is contending with the reality of a health crisis unprecedented in our lifetimes. Our highest priority is taking action that best protects the panelists, applicants, staff, and general public that make up the community ECRAC serves.
Therefore, starting Monday, March 16th, ECRAC’s physical office will be closed to reduce the risks of spreading the novel coronavirus. We are planning for all activities to take place remotely through the end of March, but will be regularly re-assessing the situation.
Below are resources and additional information. Please reach out to us with further questions or concerns, and we will attempt to keep this information updated to reflect frequently asked questions. Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the News page of our website to get up to date information.
We want all grant applicants and grantees to know that ECRAC staff members are available to respond to your questions. We know that the COVID-19 Pandemic and National Emergency is having an impact on your activities and we want to be as helpful to you as possible. If you need to reschedule or modify grant funded activities, please contact us to discuss your options for a grant contract revision or extension. If you are applying for an April 1, 2020 grant we are also available to assist you.
In addition, as the State of Minnesota responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to know that the East Central Regional Arts Council is concerned about the health and safety of everyone who works in the arts sector, and the health and safety of the participants, audience, and community members who we serve in east central Minnesota. There are many unknowns about COVID-19, and its physical, economic, and emotional impacts are changing rapidly. As an applicant, or grantee, we wanted to share the best information we have at this moment.
On Friday Governor Walz announced an executive order that declares a peacetime emergency which he described as opening a tool kit that can be ready if and when needed. At the same time a National Emergency was declared by President Trump.
In addition, the Center for Disease Control announced a set of recommended community mitigation strategies to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The strategies should be implemented immediately and stay in effect until further notice. Two strategies will specifically impact arts activities:
The Centers for Disease Control also has helpful information about the virus and about steps to take to keep homes, workplaces, and commercial establishments safe: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
The East Central Regional Arts Council has some additional, arts specific resources and links on the website: https://www.ecrac.org/art-community/news
This situation is new for all of us. Please keep the lines of communication open. Please let us know what your questions and concerns are, and we will do what we can to address them.
Most importantly, please do everything you can to stay healthy, and to help others stay healthy.
Mary Minnick-Daniels, Executive Director
Direct Phone: 320-591-7033
March 10, 2020 original post
With the rising public health concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) is committed to the health and wellness of our constituents, panelists, board members, and employees.
We are paying close attention to the national and local news about COVID-19, so that we can stay informed and provide a supportive, responsive, and safe environment for our community.
What is COVID-19?
According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are estimated to cause about a third of all cases of the common cold. COVID-19 is a strand of the coronavirus causing respiratory illnesses that have not been found in people before. Because COVID-19 is so new, there is much unknown about the virus, and currently no vaccination to prevent or cure it.
The minute-by-minute updates can raise awareness but can also cause anxiety and fear- not just about the virus, but about who may have it and is spreading the disease. It is important to remember that COVID-19 is not racially or culturally specific.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most vulnerable populations are the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
What we know about COVID-19 in Minnesota
As of this morning, 82 people have been tested and there are 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), both cases are travel-related. The first case was confirmed to have, “no community exposure concerns” meaning the person self-quarantined to prevent any spread of the virus. They were reported to be “stable, at home, and doing well.” The second case is still under investigation. Testing is ongoing including people residing in East Central Minnesota.
What is ECRAC doing?
- We are asking employees, panelists. board members and others that enter our office space to stay home if they feel even the most minor imbalance in their health. Regardless of any potential exposure to COVID-19, the best way not to spread any illnesses including the flu and cold, is to stay home, cover your coughs, and wash your hands.
- We are keeping our surfaces clean. The COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for up to 9 days, so it is extremely important to disinfect all surfaces often.
- We have hand sanitizer available throughout the office.
- We are planning and preparing for remote access to ECRAC systems, should our team need to work from home.
We are hopeful that COVID-19 will be contained, so we can get back to our daily lives.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other. We at ECRAC will continue to do our best to respond accordingly and proactively.