Dear Members, Volunteers, and Friends,

We are here for you. We are here for one another. As a committed, caring community, Ashby Village has been wrestling with the decision about whether it's in the best interest of our members to postpone, or to cancel, our gatherings.  Clearly, our older population is more vulnerable to the virus, and being in large settings increases the likelihood of being exposed. At the same time, being alone, watching the news, and sitting with yet another life challenge can also affect our health.  

Consistent with the public health guidelines issued by the CDC, the Public Health Departments of Alameda and Contra Costa, a group of leaders from the Board, Program Leadership Team, Neighborhood Group Council and Staff have developed the following guidelines for:

How We Can Support Members
What Volunteers Need to Know
Information for All of Us

Following are the summary highlights:
  • Ashby Village is suspending events at the office - 1821 Catalina Avenue - through the end of the March 2020. Certain outdoor events and some offsite groups may choose to meet. Please check the calendar or call the office to confirm.
  • For the health and well-being of all, members and volunteers should follow the self-care guidelines as closely as possible. If you are sick or not feeling well, please stay home.
  • Ashby Village will attempt to assist members with essential needs and services. To help us better assist you, we ask that you postpone non-essential requests.
  • If you are feeling isolated or concerned, please give us a call at 510-912-4772 for a Phone Friend, Social Care Team consult, or ongoing Connections volunteer.

As a strong community network, Ashby Village is committed to responding to this crisis with care and ingenuity. We will monitor this evolving situation closely and make appropriate adjustments as things proceed. Please check out the Ashby Village Coronavirus online Update and read more below.

We are a village; let's do the new greeting - bumping elbows - and support one another through yet one more of the great hurdles of life. 

Andy Gaines
Executive Director
How We Can Support Members

Ashby Village is suspending events at the office (1821 Catalina Ave.) through the end of the March 2020. Groups that normally meet offsite (i.e. Neighborhood and Interest Groups) may opt to continue to hold their meetings.

The Healthier Aging Hiking group has volunteered to offer additional short outdoor walks to keep us active and mitigate social isolation.

Please check our online calendar , call the office or call the group leader to see if an event is happening.

Continue to call the office for necessary services such as grocery shopping, food delivery, etc. Limit transportation requests to only essential needs (grocery shopping and medical rides) or reschedule non-emergency appointments to later in the spring. As always, we will do our best to match your request with a volunteer although it may be challenging during a community crisis. If you have any concerns, please reach out to the Ashby Village staff. 

Tech volunteers may be available by phone to help with:
  • access to the information & support links included in the email
  • internet communication (i.e., Skype, Google Hangout/Duo, FaceTime etc.)
  • media access (e.g., if they subscribe to the paper version of NYT, we can help them access online)
  • help accessing doctor portals

If you feel concerned, isolated, vulnerable or scared, give us a call and we can connect you with a variety of Ashby Village resources:

Phone Friends is a service in which volunteers can give casual social calls to members to maintain a sense of connection. Special note: This service is designed to provide our members with a friendly connection. It is not meant to substitute for medical or emergency services. 

The Social Care Team will be available to provide phone consultations and any necessary resources. 

The Connections Team is available to help. Please call the office and we will try to arrange a weekly telephone call and/or check-in. (If you already have a Connections Team volunteer, they will contact you directly to work out individual arrangements.)

Following are several telephone services available by other organizations:

  • Well Connected: program that offers activities, education, support groups and friendly conversations over the phone. You can sign up for free.
  • Friend Social Call: Friendly visitor program with a mission to foster connections between volunteers and older adults, 877-797-7299.
  • Friendship Line: 24 hour phone support, 800-971-0016.


Grocery Delivery - This service is for people who need groceries (food, toilet paper, etc.) delivered to their door. You will need to create an account and sign in online.
Medication Delivery - This service is for people who are unable to get their medicine in person. Some pharmacies will allow the patient to sign and date a letter and have a friend bring the letter in and pick up medicine on someone else’s behalf. Call your local pharmacy for more information.

Check with your individual insurance plan to get your medicine from mail order and also consider placing your medication on automatic refill, if possible. To do this the Insurance Company initially contacts your doctor’s office or you contact the doctor’s office and have them fax your prescription to the pharmacy. Patients and/or doctor offices must alert the mail order company when a prescription changes.
What Volunteers Need to Know

We are also committed to supporting our volunteers, and many have asked how they can help. During this period, any service outside of drives and MedPals, will be sent to ALL volunteers.

In addition, here are simple guidelines to help you navigate one on one services during this community crisis.

When signing up for a service:
  1. Check-in with the member before you travel to their home to see how they feel about your visit. If they are sick, please cancel the member service and advise the office.
  2. If you are sick, cancel the member service you have signed up for. 

When in the member’s home:
  • Wash hands when you arrive.
  • Use disinfectant wipes on door knobs or anything else before and after you touch it.
  • Wash hands before you leave a member’s home.
  • If you are tech support, wipe down computers, mouse, pens before and after your task.
  • Refrain from touching the member unless they need it; i.e. use contact guard assist, steady arm.
  • If you are driving members, wipe down car seat, door handles, seat belt buckles beforehand, etc.
  • Following the ride, wipe down seat, door handles, seat belt buckles, etc.
  • Use your best judgment on any and all services.
  • Report any concerns or other observations to the office.
Information for All Of Us

For your personal protection
Community measures include “ social distancing” at events, meetings and other places where people gather. "Social distancing" is a term used by public health officials that means people should avoid crowded places and close contact with others to reduce the spread of a contagious disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends maintaining a distance of six feet from each other.

What does it mean to “self-quarantine?”
If you are asked to self-quarantine you should stay home — in your room, your apartment, or your house for 14 days. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social gatherings. Follow these guidelines for self-quarantine:
  • Report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to your doctor
  • Stay in your room, apartment or house. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings.
  • Limit contact with other people as much as possible. This includes isolating yourself as much as possible from anyone living in your residence. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper arm or a tissue. Never cough in the direction of someone else. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage. 
  • Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-quarantine. 
  • Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus does not seem to be spread from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant such as Clorox wipes. Wash your hands after cleaning the area. 

Ways to Stay Informed
  • For email updates from the Center for Disease Control, visit them here.
  • You can follow the California Department of Public Health here.
  • To receive text message updates on COVID-19 from the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management and the Department of Public Health, you can text COVID19SF to the shortcode: 888-777.