by Terry Rogers
Kent and Sussex Industries is one of the businesses in Milford ordered to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the State of Delaware State of Emergency does not allow them to reopen until at least Phase III, the organization has set up a GoFundMe in order to raise the funds they need to prepare for that opening.
“We are in need of PPE,” Jayson Crouch, Vice President of KSI, said. “This includes face masks, gloves, thermometers, individual supplies containers, supplies, Plexiglass dividers and more. Right now, we are not able to open until Phase III because the people we serve are classified as part of the vulnerable population and there has been no announcement of when that will happen. Even when it does, we will probably wait until Phase III is well underway.”
When they do reopen, Crouch explained that there are regulations they must follow. Social distancing of six feet must be adhered to and all who can do so must wear masks. Protocols will be in place to assess the health of people before they enter the building and will also include what must take place if someone presents with symptoms. KSI is currently finalizing their Return to Work Plan and the associated protocols.
“We are communicating with each person to assess their readiness to return,” Crouch said. “We have also been conducting a risk assessment analysis of each person to evaluate if they should return in the rolling return we are planning.”
In addition to PPE, the GoFundMe is raising money to replace the gas pump used by the vans who transport staff members to and from KSI. The estimated cost for a new gas pump is more than $10,000. Transportation will also be a challenge when KSI reopens.
“The biggest issue we will face is distancing on the vehicles,” Crouch said. “Our analysis shows that only two people plus the bus driver can fit on a 12-passenger van, and only four people plus the driver will be permitted on the paratransit buses.”
The Team KSI GoFundMe can be accessed at charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/team-ksi/janetweisbrod. Crouch requested that all donations be in cash in order for all items to be uniform as well as to confirm they are appropriate for the staff.