Rockbridge Area Relief Association reopens after COVID scare

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 5:41 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - The Rockbridge Area Relief Association is normally at work running the food pantry and other services.

But last Thursday, a positive COVID test shut them down.

Now the doors are open, and they’re back at work.

“We were not even allowed in the building until today,” said Jen Handy, RARA’s executive director. “We just kicked everyone out. And so we’re coming back to see how we left things, making sure food was stored safely, getting food out to Goshen to our mobile food pantry today that we do with campus kitchen, making sure deliveries are rescheduled. Just kind of playing catch up.”

They learned that they had a positive COVID contact.

“From the very beginning, we said that safety is the number one priority,” Handy said. “We have to keep our staff safe, our volunteers safe, our clients safe.”

So everything closed down for an extra cleaning, and testing for everyone.

“We’ve been exposed and we can’t just shut down for two weeks while we wait, and so we needed some help making sure we could get our asymptomatic staff and interns tested so that we could get back into the loop,” Handy explained, “And that was probably the hardest thing to do.”

But local emergency services and the hospital pitched in and they’re all back.

“Back to normal as possible,” Handy said.

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