We'll be posting updates regarding store & factory closures amidst the COVID-19 pandemic here.
Hello all, Connie here.
As of Tuesday, March 17th, Alex, John, and I have made the choice to close the factory and fulfillment center in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Infectious disease experts are urging everyone, not just people who are high-risk or showing symptoms, to practice social distancing at this time. Closing the factory is how we can help people do that. Social distancing is a proven way to end pandemics.
It's so hard to know if we're doing the "right" thing when there are so many unknowns—it seems like every day something I felt pretty confident about gets undermined by new, conflicting information. We don't doubt that we'll make some missteps, but we're trying to consider our company values—compassion, accountability, adaptive tenacity, equity, and sincerity—as we move through this.
If your income isn't being seriously impacted during this crisis, may we be one more voice in the chorus that asks you to continue to or double-down on your support of small businesses. We won't be able to ship your orders until we're back in action, but your support in this critical moment can be make or break for our small company.
Daily Updates: Tuesday 2020/03/31
For the past two weeks, our calm and steady CFO John Vigeland has been sending out company-wide, daily updates on the spread of COVID-19. Our team has found these daily, streamlined updates to be helpful at keeping us informed about the important stuff. Starting today we’ll be sharing these updates with you. If you’re a business owner in North Carolina, please feel free to share with your teams if you find it helpful.
From EF CFO and Co-Founder, John Vigeland:
Buncombe County reported its first CV-19 fatality on Sunday. Please take care of yourself and take social distancing practices seriously.
We have had initial communications with our bank regarding the Payroll Protection Payments provided for in the CARES act. They are quickly working to process applications and we have every reason to believe we will qualify and receive funding on a short timeline.
- Buncombe reports first COVID-19 fatality
- Currently 22 cases and 1 death in Buncombe County
- North Carolina state-wide Stay at Home Order went into effect on Monday, March 30th at 5pm.
- 1,510 cases and 10 deaths in NC
- 3,820 cases and 102 deaths in GA
- There are 1,510 cases in NC and 6 deaths, 2,041 cases in TN and 14 deaths, 1,249 in VA and 15 deaths, 925 in SC and 18 deaths, 3,820 in GA and 102 deaths
- The number of known coronavirus cases in the United States continues to grow quickly. As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 177,452 cases of coronavirus confirmed by lab tests and 3,440 deaths.
- The US has the most reported cases than any other country (Italy and China are 2nd and 3rd)
- The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 838,061 people, according to official counts. As of Tuesday afternoon, at least 41,261 people have died.
Resources for coping with Anxiety:
During times of crisis and collective anxiety, we understand that it is absolutely essential to make decisions informed by reliable, up to date sources. The spread of misinformation puts all of us at risk. As employers, we're staying caught up on the recommendations from disease control and community health experts and giving carefully considered end of day updates to our team. John has compiled the following list of resources:
- An article about what CV-19 is teaching us about class, race and age dynamics in our society
- OSHA has a very useful prep guide for employers
- Johns Hopkins has created a dashboard to show outbreaks by geography
- The WHO's Situation Reports
- The CDC
- Our primary physician at Lantern Health
- A Harm Reduction Guide for people who use drugs
- A useful collection of data visualization
Starting Monday, March 16th, our Asheville & Atlanta stores will be closed, to help curb the spread of disease. The store associates who are able to jump in and help with production and fulfillment will do so. Those left unable to work will be paid for two weeks. We're currently assessing ways to continue to pay employees who might be out of work for longer. We'll keep you posted. Necessity is the mother of invention.
Tours at East Fork:
We've made the tough decision to put tours on hold for the time being, in an effort to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in this critical moment. We appreciate your interest in visiting our factory, and we hope you will consider scheduling your tour when we all feel a little more comfortable about gathering together as a community. We'll be sure to keep you posted on when tours are bookable again. You can read more here.
Events at East Fork:
While we'd looked forward to hosting several parties at the factory this spring, all currently scheduled East Fork events will be postponed until further notice. We're going to have a lot of making up to do this summer. Get ready.