Sanford Center Volunteer COVID-19 response plan

Guidelines for volunteer and client safety in Sanford Center programs


These guidelines provide information and instructions to volunteers for the Senior Outreach Services and the Volunteer Mobility Program regarding provision of specific support to the older adult clients in these programs.

Given the significant need for client support in basic needs at this time, and in light of potential risks, these guidelines have been developed specifically to address safety concerns for volunteers and clients connected to both grocery shopping and/or medication pick-up activities.

Given the potential health risks for all older adults related to COVID-19, these guidelines are meant to assist the older adult client and the volunteers to make informed decisions before requesting or providing the necessary grocery shopping and medication pick up.

For the health and safety of both volunteers and clients, the volunteer is not to provide transportation for the client.

The volunteer is fully entitled to make their own decision, based on their own judgment of risk, before agreeing to engage in these supportive tasks, and thus, the guidelines are not intended to in any way imply that volunteers are required to shop for groceries and/or pick up medication on behalf of older adult clients in the Senior Outreach Services and/or the Volunteer Mobility Program.

The program managers for these two programs*, along with the Associate Director of Community and Social Services and the Director of the Sanford Center for Aging, are available to answer questions the older adult clients and/or volunteers may have before engaging in grocery shopping and/or picking up medications.


Volunteers on behalf of the older adult, and/or older adults in the two Sanford programs may request support with needed grocery shopping and medication deliveries. For the Senior Outreach Services program, the specific volunteer assigned to support each individual client is the first option for completing the specific tasks. The program managers for the Senior Outreach Services and Volunteer Mobility Program will identify other options in the event the volunteer is not available or is unwilling to shop for groceries and/or pick up medications, which volunteers have complete discretion to determine for themselves.

Prior to carrying out the task(s) the volunteer and program manager will review current and reliable information regarding steps to take in order to reduce risk of becoming infected or transmitting COVID-19. This information will be provided via email, regular mail, or over the telephone to assist the volunteer in learning about safeguards for the older adult client and themselves. The same information will be made available to the older adult client. The most up-to-date information is in Appendix A, and will be updated as the situation evolves.

The older adult will order and make the payment for the groceries and/or medications in advance for the volunteer to pick up. The volunteer can assist the older adult to place the order via the telephone or the web. The Senior Outreach Services, or the Mobility Program volunteers will not cover the cost of groceries or medications. If prepayment cannot be arranged by the older adult program client, the program managers will identify other options to fulfill their needs.


  • Senior Outreach Services director Sina Ward,, (775) 784-7506
  • Volunteer Mobility Program director Crissa Markow,, (775) 682-8001

March 24, 2020


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW - Resources for our volunteers


Are you washing hands the right way? Five easy steps from the U.S. Surgeon General -

Social distancing: What is it, and where does it apply?

What to watch for: Symptoms of COVID-19 -


Food safety and coronavirus: Information from the CDC -

Raley's pre-packed "Senior Essentials" grocery bags -

Suggested emergency food supplies and ideas from FEMA -


"Myth busters": The World Health Organization separates COVID-19 fact from fiction -

Have you been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19? Here's what to do -

Compiled by the Sanford Center for Aging

March 24, 2020



For the health and safety of both volunteers and clients, the volunteer is not to provide transportation for the client.

To limit your own exposure, try to make the trip directly from your home to the client's home, then to the store/pharmacy, and immediately return to the client's home.


  1. Use hand sanitizer before your visit.
  2. There should be no physical interaction, if possible.
  3. The client can place the shopping list & money outside in front of their door when you arrive.
  4. You shop, hand sanitize, place the groceries, receipt and change outside the door, then knock on the door or call to notify the client. Before leaving, you may step back at least six feet from the door to wait for the client to recover the package if you choose.
  5. If your client is physically unable to carry groceries, ask that they open the door but step back at least six feet to allow you to carry the groceries into the kitchen. Remember keep your distance as much as possible and avoid unnecessary contact with any surfaces to protect your client.


  • Senior Outreach Service director Sina Ward,, (775) 784-7506
  • Volunteer Programs director Crissa Markow,, (775) 682-8001

March 24, 2020