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March 17 COVID-19 Update

By Glenn Hoagland, Seeing Eye President & CEO

Thanks to the determined efforts of our Admissions and Instruction & Training staff, we were able to get all of the students in our current class safely home.

Now that we no longer have students on the premises, we will switch to a reduced operations mode for the next two weeks. We have asked volunteers not to come to campus at this time.

Of course, we can’t just completely shut down all operations – the dogs on both the Washington Valley Campus and the Chester Breeding Station still need to be cared for. Our goal is to have as few people here as possible.

Our target is to begin to return to normal functions on April 1, in order to have students return for the April 27 class. Some of our staff will be temporarily working from home until we can begin to restore normal functions. Staff members who are deemed to be essential service employees who continue to work on premises in Morristown and Chester during the emergency operating period will be practicing social distancing or wear masks and other personal protective equipment. 

In the midst of all this, I’ve been reflecting on the mission of The Seeing Eye and the profound difference we are making in the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. I’ve been thinking about how, for more than 90 years, The Seeing Eye has been breeding, raising, and training dogs for their special destiny and creating so many successful guide dog partnerships, while shaping and advocating for the access rights of people who use dog guides. The word that comes to mind is resilience, and our staff, graduates, and volunteers demonstrate this daily, and especially during this time!

Each of you, no matter what your connection to The Seeing Eye, plays a key role in improving people’s lives. Thank you for everything you do.

Please click here to read our previous update on COVID-19 from March 12.