By Steve Heide, 2020 CSMFO President

March 12, 2020

While CSMFO is deeply committed to the professional development of our members, we are also concerned about our members’ health, and are therefore suspending all CSMFO in-person gatherings scheduled through April 30, 2020.

We will continue to closely monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and will provide additional information, including updates regarding in-person CSMFO meetings beyond April 30, as those determinations are made. In the meantime, we are investigating opportunities to conduct chapter meetings and other scheduled in-person training online when feasible to do so.

For those who have paid fees for CSMFO chapter meetings and in-person classes scheduled through April 30, we are committed to providing refunds, future meeting credits, suitable online meeting substitutes, or some combination thereof.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding. In the meantime, here are some helpful hints that may be familiar, but a good reminder:

Recommendations from Public Health Systems

While the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 to the public is believed to be low at this time, it is essential that we all take ownership of preparing ourselves, our families, and our workplaces to reduce spread of COVID-19, especially to those vulnerable in our community.  We recommend that all members and member agencies check daily your local County Public Health department for the latest local guidance and information.

In addition, the California State Department of Public Health has released on March 12, 2020 new recommendations to postpone or cancel gatherings of 250 or more and local County Public Health agencies across the State have provided guidance to postpone or cancel events as small as 50 or more.

The CDC has specific steps to prevent yourself that all starts with the recommendation for everyone to practice the following every day preventive measures:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.

  •  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  •  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.
  • Call first your healthcare provider if you or your household members are a vulnerable population with flu-like symptoms, or if your flu-like symptoms are getting worse. Most cases of the flu or COVID-19 do not require medical intervention.

Steve Heide is the Finance Director, Chino Valley Fire District, Chino Hills, California. Over 30 years of professional finance experience, having worked in government and private industry in a variety of finance positions with progressive levels of responsibility. Previous positions in public accounting, healthcare and non-profit/government.