NOTE: We worked this all out and now it sounds like Phase 3 is coming sooner than we thought! Stay tuned for revisions!
It’s been a long weird couple of months since this COVID-19 thing started and we had to make the hard decision to suspend community activities at the Clair Nelson Center. Now things are opening up again, kind of, and we are in the position of having to figure out what is allowed and what is not and also, what is safe and what is not. A complicating factor is that we are usually a “multi-use facility.” Many different activities can happen here at the same time. Normally that is a strength. We have often bragged about how much use this place was getting some days. Tuesdays used to be amazing, with the Craft Ladies in the meeting room, Toddler Playtime in the gym or outside, people coming and going all day, and meetings and basketball in the evenings. We really miss all of that. We’re confident that those times will be back, but right now, that kind of overlapping use is a danger to members of our community.
We fall under multiple categories in the State of MN’s phased plan for reopening. As of June 1st, we are in Phase 2 of Stay Safe MN. Gym activities and all large public gatherings are not allowed. Farmers Markets are considered essential services, so the Finland Farmers Market will be opening on June 11th with protocols in place for hygiene and distancing. Youth Programming will resume in July with almost entirely outdoor activities and a few distanced art and craft activities. Staff are working on the hygiene and distancing protocols now, as well as the timeframe and logistics. More information on youth programming will be announced soon.
We have decided not to allow other activities indoors at the Center at this time. Under the current guidelines, distanced gatherings of fewer than 10 people are allowed, however, we do not have the staff to enforce the number limits or to keep everything cleaned and sanitized in between groups.
We are happy to train people on the use of Zoom for online meetings. It’s free and easy to use. We can help you set up your own account, or use the Friends of Finland account (with some training and/or help from staff).
As before, public internet is still available. The entryway library and outdoor bathroom are still open.
Our outdoor facilities are available for groups of 10 or less practicing distancing, and folks following the MDH’s guidelines for Drive-in gatherings or the DNR’s Outdoor Recreation Guidelines. The RV Dump is open for the season. Use of all of our facilities is at your own risk! We clean and sanitize as much as possible, but we have a limited staff dealing with a large outdoor area and a lot of surfaces.
We will revisit this decision whenever Phase 3 is announced or new public health guidelines concerning COVID-19 are put forth by the MDH.
Thanks for your patience! We love our community! Let’s stay safe!