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Refuge of Hope’s Pro-Active Approach to COVID-19 – March 12, 2020

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The Governor announced Ohio schools are closing for 3 weeks beginning Monday; we recognize the gap in meals for students. Meals are served here 8 times a week:
LUNCH Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 10:30-12:00
DINNER Every Monday through Friday 4:30-6:30.

With a confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus in Stark County, Refuge of Hope Ministries is taking precautionary steps in order to ensure the safety of our residents, dinner guests, volunteers, and staff.

What we are doing:

  • Increasing cleanliness in our facility:
    • Disinfecting all touch points, i.e. tables, chairs, counters, doorknobs, light switches before and after every meal.
    • Frequently monitoring and replenishing soap and Purell dispensers in bathrooms and dining room.
    • Ensuring serving gloves are plentiful for frequent changing to all staff and volunteers.
  • Adjustments to dining area:
    • Separated tables and chairs to provide more room between dinner guests.
    • Volunteers will pour all beverages rather than self-serve water pitchers at each table.
    • Bread and butter will be served on individual plates rather than in baskets on tables.
    • Pre-meal announcements will be made to inform guests and volunteers on suggested hygiene practices to prevent exposure to the virus.

What you can do:

The current recommended precautions to avoid exposure to the virus are the same precautions you would take for the flu. To remain safe and prevent the spread of disease, public health officials encourage everyone to be diligent and practice the following steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick and do not return until you have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces – doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, cell phones, etc.
  • Remain calm and only share fact-based information from reliable sources noted below.


Symptoms, which may appear 2-14 days after exposure, of Coronavirus (COVID-19) include FEVER, COUGH, and SHORTNESS OF BREATH.

This is a precautionary response plan we are enacting to support the prevention of the COVID-19 from spreading in our community and is consistent with current Centers for Disease Control recommendations. If you have any questions, please contact Kristie Woods, Director of Communications, at or our Volunteer Coordinator, Tim O’Neill, at


We will continue monitoring the latest development, following recommendations from public health experts, and updating you when new, relevant information is available.

Get updated information regarding Refuge of Hope Ministries on our website at and facebook at


For more information visit:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Ohio Department of Health:

Stark County Health Department:


Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline: 1-833-4-ASK-ODH
Open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

 Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our community healthy.


With Prayers and Preparedness,

Refuge of Hope Ministries