With the rising public health concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC) is committed to supporting the health and wellness of our constituents, grantees, panelists, 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.
What we know about COVID-19 in Minnesota
There are multiple confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread primarily by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza is spread. It can also spread when people touch surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
More information about coronavirus can be found on MDH’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
website. MDH has set up a COVID-19 public hotline that is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.
What is SMAC doing?
- We are asking employees, panelists, grantees and others that enter our office space to stay home if you feel even the most minor imbalance in your 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 cough, and wash your hands.
- We are planning and preparing for remote access to SMAC systems, should our team need to work from home. Regardless of working at home or in the office, we will be accessible by email — the best way to connect with SMAC staff.
- We will follow the MN Department of Health and CDC recommendations for hosting meetings and workshops. Look for information on our website and social media channels for changes to SMAC-hosted programming.
Contact the SMAC if you intend to make any changes to your project due to COVID-19. Every effort will be made to assist you with the changes you propose for the safety and well-being of those involved, however if you decide to cancel grant funded events there is a possibility you may need to return some or all of those related funds.
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 SMAC will continue to do our best to respond accordingly and proactively.