Friday, June 12, 2020
[Transcript:Hello, I’m Steve Snow with the Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Today is June 26th. I wanted to provide a brief update regarding the current coronavirus situation in Idaho. As you may recall, two weeks ago our Governor announced that we would be moving into the fourth and final stage of the Idaho Rebounds Economic Recovery Plan.
We all had high hopes that our numbers of confirmed cases would continue to decline over the course of the last two weeks, but unfortunately, we’ve seen a drastic increase of positive cases. This definitely is cause for concern. The area where we have experienced the highest fluctuation of cases has been in Ada County, more specifically in Boise and Meridian and within the Treasure Valley.
Because of this, our local health officials at Central District Health, also known as CDH, have meticulously analyzed the situation and have consulted with our government officials and have decided to move Ada County back into Stage 3. This means that bars, night clubs, and large event centers in Ada County must close their doors once again.
Yesterday, our Governor hosted another press conference and announced that the State, as a whole, will remain in stage 4, but that he would allow local government officials to decide for their regions whether to stay in stage 4 or to regress to stage 3. This means that each local government will have to look at their number of cases and hospital capacity to decide how to proceed because each area is vastly different.
Experts are saying that this uptick is cases is contributed to the trend of an increase in positive cases in people who are between 18 and 25 years of age. Additionally, the number of hospitalizations for young adults has also increased. It appears that people within this age category are becoming more apathetic the restrictions and are getting out more, which has led to an increase in cases for this age group.
Our Governor is calling on us to do our part by continuing to follow safety protocols of wearing a mask, practicing good hand washing, practicing social distancing, and to avoid in-person interactions with those who are sick or elderly.
This is definitely a challenging time. It’s challenging for all of us and our patience is wearing thin. We’re going stir-crazy cooped up in our houses and we are dying to get back out there and socialize with people in person. But we’ve got to do our part and try to follow the safety guidelines as best as we can. This is a challenging time, there is no question of that. Coronavirus has impacted many aspects of our lives including graduations, school classes, college education, sports, and so much more.
Here at CDHH, we are committed to continuing our work to monitor accessibility. This includes ensuring hospitals provide interpreters, as well as monitoring the availability of mental health services that are accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Idaho because there may be an increased need for those services during this time. We will continue to monitor these and other issues to ensure the needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals are being met. If you are concerned or experiencing issues receiving any services during COVID due to accessibility issues, please reach out to us here at CDHH because we would be more than happy to help ensure those services are available to all of us.
Again, stay healthy, wear your masks, wash your hands, and remember, we are all in this together. Thank you.]
Friday, June 12, 2020
[Transcript: Hello everyone, today is June 11th. I’m here to provide a quick update about the coronavirus in Idaho. As you may know, there are four stages within the Idaho economic recovery plan. This morning during a press conference, Governor Brad Little announced that Idaho just barely met the minimum criteria to move into the fourth and final stage of the Idaho Rebounds plan.
The purpose of this staged approach is to hold Idahoans accountable to doing their part in slowing the spread of coronavirus by slowly reopening the state. Prior to the release of this plan, public health experts established sets of criteria, including metrics regarding confirmed cases, COVID-like symptoms, and healthcare capacity requirements, that the state must meet before progressing to the next stage.
The experts have determined that the state has met the minimum criteria in order to progress to the fourth stage beginning this Saturday. The Governor announced that we almost did not make it to stage four this week, meaning Idaho barely met the minimum criteria to progress forward.
The reason for this is because in early June, the State reported a slight increase in cases that included an uptick in confirmed cases among healthcare workers. Interestingly enough, the state also observed a slight decline in the number of reported Emergency Room visits for COVID-like symptoms.
It was also announced that community spread has been confirmed in at least half of Idaho counties. With 44 counties in Idaho, this means that at least 22 counties have confirmed community spread. Experts have noted a trend of transmission from larger cities to rural areas. This is concerning because the number of healthcare providers and services in these rural areas are significantly limited. This will continue to be monitored. Again, the purpose of the staged approach is to slow the spread of coronavirus so that our healthcare systems are not overwhelmed.
So, beginning this Saturday, we will progress to the fourth stage, which means that 100% of businesses in Idaho may reopen and resume operations. This means that visits to nursing homes, senior centers, and other congregate facilities may resume. However, visitors must abide by strict safety protocols to ensure the safety of residents and the facility staff.
Nightclubs are also permitted to reopen as long as safety protocols are followed. Large venues such as stadiums and conference centers may reopen as long as safety protocols are met including physical distancing requirements.
Employers may resume unrestricted staffing of worksites if safety precautions such as physical distancing, hand washing, and sanitizing commonly touched surfaces are set in place to protect the health and safety of employees. Employers should also continue to encourage telework when feasible. Employers should allow employees who are considered vulnerable to continue to work from home.
Non-essential travel to areas that allow it and do not have ongoing transmission may continue.
In previous stages, gatherings were limited to 10, and then 50 people. In Stage Four, there are no longer restrictions in numbers for gatherings. However, social distancing must still be practiced at gatherings of any size.
This Saturday we will move into the fourth and final stage of the reopening plan. With that being said, we cannot resume to pre-COVID life just yet. We still all need to do our part by practicing social distancing when we leave our homes, by practicing good handwashing often, and by sanitizing commonly touched surfaces often. When possible, we should wear face masks when going to the store or other public places. Additionally, we should stay home when feeling ill and should practice good hygiene of covering coughs and sneezes.
Here at CDHH, we will continue to monitor accessibility related to the coronavirus outbreak. If you are experiencing issues related to equal access, please reach out to us. Stay healthy and stay safe. I’ll see you next time.]
Friday, May 29, 2020
[Transcript: Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well. Today is Friday May 29th. I wanted to provide a quick update regarding the four stages of the Rebound Idaho Plan. Yesterday our Governor, Brad Little, announced that Idaho will be moving into Stage 3 of the Idaho Rebound Plan. This will begin this Saturday, May 30th.
Interestingly enough, the Governor also announced that government and health district officials met with movie theater operators around Idaho and deemed that movie theaters can open their doors during Stage 3 instead of having to wait until Stage 4. This means that movie theaters can now open their doors as soon as this Saturday as long as the theaters abide by State guidelines.
Other businesses will also be permitted to open this Saturday. This will include the reopening of bars in Idaho. Up until this point, bars were classified as businesses that would reopen during Stage 4 of the Rebound Idaho Plan, but the Governor announced that bars may now reopen during Stage 3 as long as State protocols are followed in order to protect customers and employees.
The Governor also announced that gatherings of up to 50 people are now permitted. However, individuals will still need to practice safety precautions such as social distancing and the use of face masks.
The Governor announced that individuals traveling from states or areas with substantial community spread, such as New York, must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Idaho.
Additionally, employees should continue to work from home during Stage 3 if possible. Employers should return their employees back to their place of business in phases. Employees who are considered vulnerable, such as those with underlying medical conditions or those that are older, should continue to self-quarantine.
Non-essential travel can also be resumed but individuals should be cautious and should continue to protect themselves.
Even though businesses are reopening in stage 3 and life is getting back to normal, these businesses must still abide by safety protocols.
As with Stage 1 and 2, visits to nursing homes and other senior citizen facilities are not permitted at this time. Additionally, large stadiums for sporting events and other large venues are not permitted to reopen until Stage 4 of the plan.
Our Governor is encouraging us all to continue to use face masks, practice social distancing, practice good hygiene such as washing our hands often and cleaning commonly touched surfaces often, and to stay home when we are sick.
That concludes this update. Stay safe and healthy Idaho. Until next time.]
Thursday, May 14, 2020
[Transcript: Hello everyone, today is Thursday May 14th. I wanted to share a quick update regarding COVID-19 here in Idaho. Earlier this afternoon, our Governor Brad Little held a press conference to announce the beginning of Stage 2 of the Rebound Idaho plan. This will go into effect on Saturday May 16th.
You may be wondering exactly what this entails and what it means for Idaho businesses. As you may recall, Stage 2 is the second step in the Governor’s four step plan to reopen and rebound the Idaho economy. Within these stages, the Governor has outlined when various businesses and organizations, such as places of worship, restaurants, and salons, may reopen their doors.
Two weeks ago, we entered Stage 1 of the Rebound Idaho plan. Within this stage, places of worship and approximately 90% of businesses in Idaho were permitted to reopen with specific business protocols in place.
Stage 2 of this plan, which will begin this Saturday, will allow approximately 95% of all businesses in Idaho to reopen. So basically, almost all businesses, including hair salons, gyms, recreational facilities like the YMCA, and dine-in restaurants may open their doors beginning this Saturday. However, these businesses may only reopen if they follow the state’s business protocols to ensure the safety of their customers.
Additionally, within Stage 2, private and public gatherings of 10 or less people are permitted if safety protocols, such as wearing masks, hand washing, and social distancing, are still practiced. Gatherings comprised of more than 10 people are not permitted or encouraged at this time.
Businesses that are to remain closed during Stage 2 include swimming pools, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, sporting venues such as stadiums, and other large venues. These businesses will be permitted to reopen during the Stage 3 and 4 of the Rebound Idaho plan.
Visits to nursing homes and congregate facilities such a jails and prisons are not permitted at this time.
During the press conference, the Governor also announced that small businesses may request a 30-day supply of Personal Protective Equipment, including gloves, masks, and medical gowns, from the State to be used to protect their customers and employees. Small businesses can request this 30-day supply by visiting the state government website at www.supplies.idaho.gov.
Our state government is continuing to monitor the situation here is Idaho. I do want to clarify exactly what data the Governor and his team are using to make decisions about lifting restrictions. They are actually basing these decisions more on the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and the number of ventilators that are being used and less on the number of confirmed cases. The reason for this is because as the number of tests increase, consequently the number of conformed cases will also increase. The Government will continue to monitor the number of severe cases to ensure that hospitals have the capacity to treat patients.
I do want to remind you that although businesses are now up and running again, we cannot return to pre-covid life just yet. We still need to take precautions such as wearing masks, washing our hands, and practicing social distancing.
Take care of yourselves and stay safe and healthy out there. And if you have any Deaf or hard if hearing related questions or concerns, please let us know. See you next time.]
Friday, May 1, 2020
Hello, everyone. Happy May 1st. Yesterday our Governor, Brad Little, hosted a press conference to discuss the four stages of what he calls Rebound Idaho, which is the state economic recovery plan. During this press conference, the Governor announced that the state will move into stage 1, which allows many businesses to re-open beginning today, May 1st.
So what does Stage 1 mean for Idaho? Entering Stage 1 means that most businesses, approximately 90% of all businesses across Idaho, are permitted to re-open starting today. Under this guidance, a “business” is classified as any entity that sells goods to the public. This can include clothing stores, shops within shopping malls, car dealerships, and other shops that sell items. Stage 1 does not include establishments such as movie theaters, recreational facilities such as places like Jump Time, and other large venues. These establishments will be permitted to re-open later on in the fourth stage of the Rebound Idaho plan.
The businesses that are approved in stage 1 may re-open their doors to the public beginning today, but it will not be back to business as usual. These stores must follow protocols to keep their customers safe by ensuring their customers have the space to social distance, by limiting the number of customers in their facilities at any given time, by sanitizing their facilities often, and by following other guidelines like recommending customers wear masks. The complete list of rules pertaining to stage 1 can be found at www.rebound.idaho.gov. The businesses that are permitted to re-open today can only do so if they follow the protocols listed on the website.
In addition to these businesses, other organizations are permitted to resume meeting as well. Included in this list are churches, daycare centers, youth activities such as day camps, sports, and boy scout and girl scout troops. These organizations are allowed to resume meeting if they follow State protocols. For example, youth sports are permitted to begin, but large tournaments and sports-related travel are not permitted at this time. The complete list of regulations these organizations must follow can be found on that same website, www.rebound.idaho.gov.
Other businesses, such as dine-in restaurants, hair salons and indoor gyms are to remain closed at this time and will be permitted to reopen during stage 2 if new cases of the Coronavirus continue to decline.
During stage 3 and 4, other establishments such as bars, nightclubs, and large venues will be permitted to re-open. Additionally, senior centers and assistive living facilities are to remain closed to the public at this time and visits will resume in the later stages of this plan.
If you would like to know specifics about each stage and what businesses are permitted to re-open and when, you can visit the website rebound.idaho.gov.
Stay safe and healthy out there. We’ll see you next time.]
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
[Transcript: Hello, I’m Steven with the Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. I hope you all are doing well and staying safe and healthy. We are definitely living in challenging times. At this time we are being required to stay in our homes and self-isolate, many of us are unable to work, and some of us are working from home. We’re unable to gather together, our kids are unable to go to school, and we’re only allowed to enter businesses that are deemed essential. Many aspects of our lives are not normal making this such a trying time in our lives. I want to thank you for your commitment to doing your part in all of this. Together we can beat Coronavirus.
I’d like to provide an update regarding the Coronavirus in Idaho as of today, April 15th, 2020. So far, there are 1,486 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Idaho. Unfortunately, there have been 39 Coronavirus-related deaths reported in the state of Idaho so far.
You may recall that on March 25th, our Governor, Brad Little, hosted a press conference and signed a Statewide Stay-Home Order. This required most businesses, with the exception of some businesses that are deemed essential, to close their doors and halt operations. Additionally, the Governor ordered citizens of Idaho to stay home and work remotely if necessary. Originally, this Order was intended to last for three weeks. At that point, the Governor and all of Idaho hoped that we would be able to return to life as normal. Today, April 15th, was supposed to be the final day of this 21 Day Stay-Home Order. However, this morning the Governor called another press conference and announced that the Stay-Home Order has been extended for an additional 2 weeks and is scheduled to end on April 30th.
This means that we must continue to comply with the order by staying home, practicing social distancing, and businesses that are not deemed essential must remain closed until April 30th. The Governor did make an amendment to this Stay-Home Order for non-essential businesses. The Governor announced that these businesses may open if they are able to alter their operations to follow the Governor’s orders of maintaining social distancing with all customers and can sanitize their place of business often. If this is not possible, businesses can open if they can provide services through a delivery or curb-side pick-up method. If these businesses choose to re-open, they must comply with all the stipulations in the Stay-Home Order.
So again, with the Governor’s announcement, the Stay-Home Order has been extended until April 30th. At the completion of these two weeks, the Governor and his team will reevaluate the situation in Idaho to determine when it will safe to lift the order. More information about extending or ending the Stay-Home Order will be released after April 30th. The Governor is aiming to have our economy, businesses, and lives back to normal soon.
Please continue to abide by the Governor’s Stay-Home Order so we can work together to beat this. Please stay safe and healthy, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at CDHH. Thanks for watching.]
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Monday, April 6, 2020
Hello everyone, I hope you’re doing well and staying safe and healthy out there. I’m here to remind you that as Americans, voting is one of our most fundamental rights. On May 19th Idaho will hold its Primary Elections. This is where Democrats, Republicans and Constitutionalists will vote for candidates within their party to advance to the General Elections in November. Due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, however, many counties in the state of Idaho have expressed that sufficient polling places and poll workers cannot be obtained for the upcoming election. Many of these counties believe it would be unsafe to do so. However, the primary elections cannot be postponed either. Because of this, our Governor, Brad Little, issued a proclamation that states that the Primary Election will still be held on May 19th, 2020, but the election will be conducted by mail. Within the next 10 to 14 days, the Idaho Secretary of State will send all Idaho registered voters an Absentee Ballot Request in the mail. If you are registered to vote, you do not need to request that this be sent to you, it will be done automatically. Once you receive this Absentee Ballot Request, you will need to fill it out and sign it, and then send it back to the Secretary of State’s Office. Once this is received, the Secretary of State’s Office will send the actual Absentee Ballot that you will use to cast your vote. Keep in mind that the election on May 19th is the Idaho Primary Election which means that in order to vote on this day, you must be affiliated and registered with a political party, such as the Republican, Democratic, or Constitution Party. This means that if you are registered as a Republican, you will only receive the Republican Party Ballot, and if you are registered as a Democrat, you will only receive the Democratic Party Ballot, and so forth. So again, if you would like to vote in the Idaho Primary Election, you must be registered with an affiliated party. As a reminder, the Republican Primary Election is considered a closed election, which means only registered members of the Republican Party will receive the Republican Ballot. All Ballot Requests, regardless of political affiliation, can be made online or through the mail by sending your form to your county Clerk’s office. If you do decide to mail in your Absentee Ballot Request form, make sure it arrives at the County Clerk’s Office by 8pm on Tuesday May 19th. Any Ballot Requests received after this time will not be processed. Additionally, if you are not registered to vote in Idaho but would like to vote in the State Primary Election, you must register to vote by Tuesday May 19th at 8pm. You cannot vote in this election if you are not registered before then. Once you receive the actual Ballot in the mail and complete and sign it, it must be sent back to the County Clerk’s Office by Tuesday June 2nd at 8pm. Any Ballots received after 8pm on June 2nd will not be counted. On June 2nd at 9pm the results of the election will be announced. If you are registered to vote, you can request your Absentee Ballot online at www.idahovotes.gov. You can also register to vote by visiting this same website. If you or someone you may know does not have internet access or would require additional assistance completing these forms, you can call your County Clerk’s Office. You can locate your County Clerk’s Office phone number by visiting that same website, again that’s www.idahovotes.gov. Once you’re on the website, you can scroll down and click on the box that says, “Find My County Clerk Office.” Once there, you will see a list of all the Counties in Idaho. Simply locate your County and call the number listed. There are several positions up for election this year including 3 of the 4 Federal Congressional seats representing Idaho. This means that during the primary elections, voters will decide who will represent their party in the General Election in November. Additionally, all 105 State Legislative seats will be up for election this year. This means that voters belonging to the Democratic party and voters belong to the Republican party will select their respective candidates to run for the General Election in November. Additionally, within all of Idaho’s 44 counties, voters will select candidates for local offices including County and District Commissioners, County Prosecutors, and County Sheriffs. Again, I want to remind you that all elections conducted on May 19th will be done through the mail and will not be held in person. Please spread the word and share this video with your friends and family members. If you have any questions related to voting, please let us know. Thank you for watching and stay safe out there.]
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
On Monday, March 30th, 2020 Director Snow and CDHH staff hosted a Facebook Live Q&A about the current situation with Coronavirus. Check out the archived video with great questions and content regarding our current situation in Idaho below.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Hello everyone. I would like to share an update about COVID-19, also known as the Novel Coronavirus. During this video, I will discuss strategies to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and what you personally can do to help, and I will discuss accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
As you may know, Coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the country and across the globe. This is a very serious situation that should not be taken lightly. In response to this situation, federal and state government officials have been working tirelessly to determine the best course of action to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. There are two reasons why we want to slow the spread of Coronavirus. The first, obviously, is that COVID-19 is dangerous if contracted by those who are elderly or if it is contracted by those who are medically fragile. The second reason to slow the spread of Coronavirus to attempt to “flatten the curve”. This is the term experts are using to explain how we can lessen the effect of the Coronavirus. Here is a graph that explains this concept.
In the graph you just saw, our healthcare capacity is represented by the horizontal dotted line. This is the maximum number of patients our hospitals and medical offices can treat at any given time. The goal of slowing the spread of Coronavirus, also known as “flattening the curve”, is to keep the number of patients needing medical attention below that line so that hospitals and medical staff can provide treatment to everyone who needs it.
To put this in perspective, we have approximately 43 hospitals, both large and small, in the state of Idaho. This is around 3,200 beds available for patients at any given time. If we were to have a large outbreak of Coronavirus in Idaho, it would send hundreds maybe thousands of people to the hospital all at once. Our medical facilities would be overwhelmed with patients and would not have the capacity to treat everyone at the same time. Additionally, many of the 3,200 beds would already be occupied by patients who are recovering from surgeries and other illnesses not related to COVID-19. So if there was a large outbreak in Idaho, our hospitals would fill up quickly and many people needing serious medical attention would have no place to go.
This is where you can make a difference and where you personally can help flatten the curve. Federal and State officials have released a set of guidelines that will help you avoid getting sick and making others sick. These are the current guidelines: If you are feeling sick, even if you’re experiencing a mild fever, a slight cold, or just a cough, you should stay home. You may feel you should still go into work, but it is important that you stay home. Additionally, if you are experiencing mild symptoms, such as a fever and cough, do not go to the hospital for treatment. As I mentioned earlier, if everyone who is experiencing mild symptoms all go to the hospitals at once, medical staff will be overwhelmed and will not be able to treat everyone. If this happens, those people who have more serious medical needs will not be able to receive the care they desperately need.
Additionally, the federal and state officials are encouraging people to stay home if their child is sick. As you know, schools are closed across the state of Idaho. Some are closed for 2 to 3 weeks and some may be closed for even longer.
The next guideline is if you need to get in to see your doctor for any reason, call ahead before going into their office.
If someone in your house has tested positive for Coronavirus, it is imperative that all members of your household stay home. Even if members of your household are not currently exhibiting any Coronavirus symptoms, everyone in the house should self-quarantine and should not go into work or be out in the public..
If you are older, even if you are not feeling sick, you should stay home and should distance yourself from other individuals.
If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition, such as having issues with your heart, asthma, or if you are immunocompromised, you should stay home. It is important that you practice social distancing and should avoid contact with other people.
Additionally, the federal government advises that all meetings and social gatherings that will have more than ten people present should be canceled.
Bars and sit-down restaurants should also be avoided at this time. However, you can still order food from restaurants by using their drive-thru, curbside, or delivery services.
The guidelines also say that non-essential travel should be postponed at this time.
Finally, visits to nursing homes, retirement homes, and long-term care facilities are not permissible at this time in order to protect the health and safety of their residents.
It is imperative that we all do our part to reduce the spread of coronavirus by following these guidelines. This is where you personally can help. Please do not take these guidelines lightly.
Now I would like to discuss the topic of accessibility for the Deaf and hard of hearing community during the Coronavirus outbreak. Here at CDHH, we have been diligently working to form partnerships with various agencies to ensure access for the community. For example, we have been working closely with the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, the Governor’s Office, and other local and state government agencies to coordinate our efforts to respond in times of emergencies such as this. CDHH has now been tasked with two responsibilities during the Coronavirus outbreak. The first is the coordination of emergency interpreting services. We are currently working with interpreters, interpreting agencies, government entities, hospitals, and medical staff to determine the most effective way to provide access to sign language interpreters during this time. One way that we have already been doing this is by coordinating interpreters for local press conferences on television. CDHH has been working hard behind the scenes with several news channels to ensure the interpreter is visible on the screen for the entire news briefings.
CDHH has also been tasked with gathering and documenting concerns related to communication access. If you or a loved one become ill and must seek medical attention but are denied access to an interpreter, or if your local news channel is not accessible because news briefings are not interpreted or captioned, please reach out to us here at the Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. As you know, Idaho is a large state, so we can’t keep track of everything ourselves, so we need your help. Again, if there is an issue related to access in your area, please reach out to us today. We are committed to working with those entities to ensure that access is provided to everyone. Our contact information will appear at the completion of this video.
Please stay safe out there and remember to wash your hands often. Thank you.]
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Hello, I’m Steve Snow with the Idaho Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Today’s video will be all about interpreting services during the current COVID-19 crisis. Our primary focus during this time is maintaining the safety of the Deaf community and the safety of interpreters alike. CDHH, along with other organizations, including Idaho Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Network Interpreting Service, also known as NIS, the State Educational Interpreter Coordinator from the School for the Deaf and Blind, and the Idaho State University Interpreter Training Program, have been diligently working together to create guidelines and procedures to ensure that interpreting services will continue to function during this uncertain time. This is all to ensure that you, the Deaf and hard of hearing community, still have access to communication during this ever-changing crisis. This does mean that Video Remote Interpreting services may be used in priority to on-site interpreting services during this time in order to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus for both the patients and the interpreters involved in an appointment. Again, safety of the Deaf community and of interpreters is our main priority during this crisis. CDHH, along with the interpreting community partners I mentioned earlier, have been working to recruit local interpreters to become temporary Video Remote Interpreters for local appointments. This would mean that hospitals and other facilities could contract with our local interpreters remotely, who know our community, instead of using VRI interpreters from other parts of the country. This would eliminate some of the variables that make VRI so cumbersome to use and could eliminate some of the common issues associated with VRI. However, I do want to emphasize that VRI is not the sole option and on-sight interpreters can still be requested if necessary. As the severity of the situation continues to increase, CDHH and our community partners are committed to ensuring on-site and remote interpreters will be available to the community. We ask for your patience as we navigate through the new challenges posed by this uncertain time. Again, our greatest priority through all of this is to ensure that deaf patrons and interpreters remain safe through this crisis. If you experience any issues related to interpreting services, whether it be with on-site or remote interpreters, please contact us at the Council. We would be more than happy to help resolve those issues. Our contact information will appear at the end of this video. Thank you, take care and stay safe out there.]