Senior center closing its doors over COVID-19 concerns

Though there are no reported cases of COVID-19 among any members of the Holley Navarre Senior Center, the center closed its doors for an indefinite period Monday.

Nelda Seever, the president of the center, said it’s better to err on the side of caution than do the opposite.

“We don’t have any reported cases of illness, but this just taking precaution to prevent anyone from possibly getting it,” Seever said. “This age group is vulnerable to it. We have a lot of members who are over 60 and 70, and even 80. We feel it’s best to be cautious.”

Two events were canceled last week for the center, including a spaghetti dinner fundraiser set for April 3.

But at the time, there were no plans to close the center. Things changed over the weekend as more information and warnings came out, including a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that groups of no more than 50 gather together in one place.

Seever said board members at the center talked about the possibility of the move and put it into action Monday.

“We talked all weekend about it,” Seever said. “We’ve been staying up to date with the news and are following CDC guidelines. That is who we are taking our lead from on this. We felt it was the right decision.”

The center will still offer lunch for seniors through the Council on Aging, at least for the time being. Lunches are served Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. No social time will be available, however, in an effort to limit the amount of time a larger number of people are together in one place.

“We’re asking people to show up at 10:30 and eat their lunch and get home. We may get to the point where the meals are available to go for people, but for now, they can come in and get lunch,” Seever said.

Because some seniors will be in a position where they aren’t able to get out to the store or run other errands, Seever is making sure there are people in place to step in and help out.

She has set up a list of volunteers who can help with things like shopping or picking up prescriptions. Anyone that needs that assistance just needs to contact Seever via email at neldaseever@mcshi.com.

“We have people who are willing to help if you need it,” Seever said. “I’ve sent an email out to members about it and we have a list on our door that has contact information for those volunteers. Not only can they help with errands, but because someone might be feeling isolated, they are available to listen if you just want to talk.”

Seever said all fundraisers and activities at the center are on hold at the moment and everything will be re-evaluated once the center opens.

But no date has been set on when that will happen.

“It’s just until further notice,” Seever said. “This is new for all of us, and we are just playing it by ear. “We just have to be cautious until things get better.”

Seever said in the meantime people can use this opportunity to find other things to do stay busy.

“This is a great time to catch up on correspondence, do some reading or get some yard work or spring cleaning done. A little sunshine can be good for you. Hopefully this won’t last too long and things will get back to normal,” Seever said.

Life Interrupted Cover

 This article is featured in the Mar. 19 issue of Navarre Press.

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