The community is coming together while being apart

The community is coming together while being apart

By Bree Dunckhorst Posted May 6, 2020

As the COVID-19 quarantine continues, the Humboldt County community has done many things to support each other at a distance. Since everyone is taking precautions to prevent the virus from spreading it has required the members of the community to come together as one, but in very creative ways. 

On April 17, 2020, members of the community organized a parade to show support and love for the class of 2020 and all of the other Lowry students. Members of the community have also created a Facebook page called “Lowry Class of 2020 – Adopt a Senior”. Parents and loved ones have put pictures of their seniors on the page with a description of them and their personality and members will “adopt” the seniors and buy and make them nice things and do nice gestures for them. 

The Humboldt County School District has been providing students with free lunches every day. 

“HCSD [Humboldt County School District] has set up several drive-thru pick up locations throughout the county for any child ages 0 to 18 years old to pick up a lunch,” said Nichole Bengochea. “We have made them available to any child whether they are in school or not. Each location has HCSD employees or volunteers handing them out.”

Since the outbreak, the lunch service has been taking many health precautions. 

“All food service employees or HCSD employees are handling food with all safety protocols required that have been put into place with the COVID-19. All employees are wearing masks and gloves,” said Bengochea. “All food is processed in the same manner as it was before as those procedures have always been in place to make sure the food is not contaminated in any way and is safe to eat. I believe they all wore gloves prior to this, but they are still wearing them.” 

Getting a free lunch is made very simple by HCSD.

HGH (Humboldt General Hospital) Emergency Department staff pose with their donation of pizza from Reno Behavioral Health Hospital./Courtesy • Robyn Dunckhorst
HGH (Humboldt General Hospital) Emergency Department staff pose with their donation of pizza from Reno Behavioral Health Hospital./Courtesy • Robyn Dunckhorst

“A student would need to find a pickup location in the town or surrounding areas to receive one. It’s that simple just show up at the drive-thru and pick one up,” said Bengochea. “If they need to find a location the district website is a great place to look for or the district Facebook page. You can also find the information out by calling your school. Our hope as a district is to make sure not a single kid goes hungry.”

Nicole Maher, the Director of Community Education and Development at Humboldt General Hospital, has seen an overwhelming amount of support towards the hospital and frontline healthcare workers.

“Our local residents have become champions for our healthcare workers in everything from their comments on social media to other kindnesses with regard to Personal Protective Equipment donations, food donations—even donations of bath bombs, lotions and leggings,” said Maher.

The hospital and the frontline healthcare workers appreciate everything everyone at this time is doing to show their support.

“Perhaps the most meaningful for us are the people who have literally designed face shields and mask ear loop extenders and other gear to help provide physical protection,” said Maher. “There’s something very special about that: that kind of donation also provides ‘emotional protection’ from letting this virus overrun us with fear and rob us of hope.” 

HGH (Humboldt General Hospital) is also giving back to the community in many ways.

“One of the biggest ways HGH is giving back to the community is through our West Campus screening clinic. Most communities have not provided a designated location for prospective cases to be tested and that engenders a lot of confusion and fear,” said Maher. “But this was a brilliant decision to provide a place away from the hospital and the ED [Emergency Department] to test, diagnose and, if appropriate, script illness—and not just COVID illness, but all respiratory illness.”

The Communities Paramedicine Program has also played a big role in all of this.

“Another way we have given back is through our Community Paramedicine program. We have 37 confirmed cases as of today and our Community Paramedics are in contact with each case every day—not just for medical needs, but also to ensure they have food, prescriptions and other necessities for daily living,” said Maher. “Our crews have identified several cases over the weeks who needed higher-level care. Without their daily intervention, we may have had more deaths in our community.”

Not only this, but they also have an enormous amount of outreach to the community.

Maher said, “We also have started a Community Giving Program that allows us to fund 501c3 organizations, up to $5,000 each for programs that support the safety, health and well-being of our community.”

The Mucca Mask Makers have been extremely helpful with their hard work and donations. The Food Bank as well has received an overwhelming amount of donations.

Maher said, “The Mucca Mask Makers have just over 70 members sewing masks every day to outfit our community; they have nearly reached 2,500 masks (each one takes about 45 minutes to sew) so you can imagine what that donation has been.”

The Humboldt County Suicide Prevention Task Force has also looked out for our community with their very caring “Hope Bags”.

“…COVID-19 Hope Bags are distributed to community members, through Humboldt General Hospital, who have tested positive for COVID and are required to self-isolate at home,” said Maher. “Mental Health Wellness Hope Bags are distributed to community members who are struggling with hopelessness, suicidal ideation, self-harming behaviors, anxiety and depression.”

Many organizations in the community have come together as one to fight and prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“Also, all partner organizations in our community, including Humboldt County, City of Winnemucca, Humboldt General Hospital, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Winnemucca Police Department, Nevada Highway Patrol, HGH EMS Rescue and Humboldt County School District, have pulled together as one group to offer a unified response to the virus—in each organization’s individual way,” said Maher. “They have come together under the motto: All for One. That means that ALL of this effort is worth it if we can save just one life.”

List of Donations (information provided by Nichole Maher):

Lowry High School Welding and Auto Shop Departments/Jennifer Montero and Andrew Meyers – 14 boxes of Nitrile Disposable Gloves

Mucca Mask Makers/Sassy Stitchers (Rhonda Coleman, Mindy Johnson, Susan Galland) – 200 cloth masks

Community – “Parade” for HGH staff (April 10)

Humboldt County Commission – Thank-you banners at main and ED entrances

Community – Thank-you signs on outside rails at HGH

Back Burner Smoke Haus – Lunch for 170 staff members (April 10)

TNT Welding – Donated $100 toward Back Burner Smoke Haus lunch (April 10)

Cyrq Energy Blue Mountain Geothermal – Donated $500 toward Back Burner Smoke Haus lunch (April 10)

Karin Southall – Wrapped cookies for OB staff

Meri Wolicki/Christine Reyes/Kim Brooks – Lularoe leggings for staff members

Tutu Toppers – Boxes of lemon bars and brownies donated to ED and shared with Med/Surg (March 24)

Reno Behavioral Health Hospital – Pizza for ED and Med/Surg (shared with dayshift and night shift) (April 15)

Marylou Rives – 40 ear savers and 40 cloth masks to ED (Marylou is Robyn Dunckhorst’s mother and Robert Rives’ grandmother). She also makes bouffant scrub caps for staff.

MaryAnn Cahill – Bouffant hats for Radiology (MaryAnn is Diane Klassen’s mother)

Hailey Vess – Over 30 cloth masks (Hailey Vess is Diane Klassen’s daughter)

Nevada Rural Hospital Partners/UNR – 50 face shields

Todd Hagness/Winnemucca Junior High School/Seamus Maloon – Face shields

Cyanco – $5,000 donation and five lunches/dinners for all staff (April 24, April 29, April 30, May 5 and May 7)

Jeremy Keener – 42 boxes of fluid resistant masks and 80 boxes of gloves

Second Street Seasonals – Flowers for Harmony Manor/Quail Corner residents

Round Table Pizza – 30 pizzas for all staff (April 15)

Taco Bell – Food for staff

Humboldt County Library – Ear loop extenders

Josh Lange – Ear loop extenders 

Viper Glass – Three intubation shield boxes

Charlie Hager/Kim Brooks – Lotions and bath bombs for staff (April 17)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *