The health and well-being of its employees, partners, and clients is a priority at the Southern Oklahoma Development Association. To ensure our employees have the support they need in order to continue providing services to our clients and partners during this crisis, SODA has modified its employee travel and leave policies. These new guidelines will be in effect through April 10 and extended to a later date if deemed necessary. These guidelines recognize the CDC recommendations and include the following:

  • Employee travel out of the SODA service area is suspended through April 10.
  • Employees who can perform work responsibilities remotely are recommended to work from home.
  • Employees should avoid gatherings of 10 or more people and travel to highly populated areas outside of the SODA service area.

Although SODA will be open during its regular business hours of 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday, to prevent our work environment from contamination, the SODA corporate offices at 2704 N. First in Durant will be locked down beginning Monday,  March 23, 2020 and only employees may enter the premises. SODA staff is still available during business hours by phone or email.

Area Agency on Aging

Ombudsman – Ombudsman staff are working remotely and should be contacted directly at their SODA cell phone numbers.

Nutrition – Title III nutrition sites are setting up to hand meals to senior in their cars. Because of the location of some sites, drive-up or drive-through is not possible and so seniors will be handed meals at the door.

Nutrition sites will continue to cook hot meals and hand them out using drive-up or drive-through. If we have to close the drive thru process, then we will transform all meal provision to home-delivered meals.

The Southern Oklahoma Nutrition Program (SONP) has gathered volunteers to assist at the sites but if they do not find enough, then they can utilize AAA Staff  and other Title III project staff to assist in the delivery of meals.

Assessments – All client assessments will be conducted by phone until the crisis has passed at which time a follow-up face-to-face assessment will be conducted for those that received in-home services resulting from a phone assessment.

Transportation – Transportation services are continuing and all vehicles are sprayed before riders board and throughout the day. The number of riders at any time may be limited.

Vouchers –  Recipients of Chore, Homemaker and Respite vouchers should decide for themselves if they want to continue in-home visits from providers.

Tai Chi –Classes are suspended for at least 4 weeks. We are considering the possibility of sending an instructional CD home with clients now instead of at the end of class to continue in home exercises.

Legal Aid – Legal consulting will continue as normal as most are phone consultations.

Rural Fire Defense

The Fire Defense Director is available for consultation by phone and email. No inventories or inspections at local fire departments will be conducted until further notice.

The Forestry equipment yard is closed for pick-up until further notice.

Community and Economic Development

The CED staff is available for consultation by phone and email and will continue to assist counties and communities in grant writing and in meeting grant submission deadlines.

CED staff will provide the necessary information for agenda items for council or commission meetings for pending grant submissions. CED staff is also available to consult with you by phone during your council or commission meeting upon request.


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