Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, COPE’s top priority has remained the health and safety of our employees and the responsibility we have to our clients and communities, especially our most vulnerable members. The arrival of the highly contagious Delta Variant this summer has further complicated our efforts to balance safety and efficacy of our programs. We appreciate the eagerness to resume “normal” operations while honoring the discomfort with in person settings still felt by many. We hesitate to create and enforce policies mandating mask-wearing or confirming vaccination status, distracting groups from their naturally warm, inclusive, and supportive spaces. We also recognize the restrictions and limitations still present in many of our host locations in the community.
For these reasons, COPE will keep all support groups and workshops virtual until at least March 2022.
We will have some select events return in person, primarily those that are outdoors and allow for social distancing.
Though we lament a time where we have been able to be together supporting each other in one room, our work over the past year and a half has supported the research studies that indicate that telemental health is equivalent to face-to-face care in many settings and can serve as an acceptable alternative when necessary. Throughout the pandemic, we continue to receive new referrals and maintain strong membership in our groups and workshops. Additionally, we see the positive opportunities available in telehealth, as we are able to serve a broader range of clients and eliminate some barriers to accessing support services.
Our goal is and will continue to be to work toward a return to in-person services for our groups, workshops, and events while considering the possibility of retaining some virtual options to continue to meet the needs of our clients and community. Especially during a time of so much need for grief and bereavement services, we appreciate your continued commitment to our organization and the support of the services we are dedicated to providing.