The Cole Camp Senior Center has resumed indoor recreational and fitness opportunities and dining after more than a year of closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a “soft opening” to work out glitches, the center is operating at reduced capacity, but welcoming adults 60 and older to dine indoors without masks, according to Janis Garren, Coordinator of the center at 206 E. Junge St. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.
Folks who need transportation to the center may call OATS 1-800-276-6287 to arrange a ride.
I couldn’t wait to see people again,” Garren said. “It had gotten awfully quiet, and I was so happy to see people and to know they are doing well.”
As people return to the Cole Camp center, they will notice a completely renovated building, as well as freshly cooked meals. Before, Cole Camp’s meals were brought in from Warsaw.
Such soft openings are set to occur throughout June in several senior centers as each of the coordinators tweaks safety protocols, said Deb Krieger, Regional Services Coordinator, who has overseen the Covid-19 response for Care Connection for Aging Services.
“We are trying to be as cautious as possible to assure that each center has the appropriate precautions in place,” Krieger said. “We are going to take it one center at a time and make sure we have the physical and human resources necessary to open the center.”
For now, the Cole Camp center still offers curbside pickup of meals for those who are not ready to dine in. Garren said people may call the center at 660-668-2352 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and pick up a meal by 11:30 a.m.
Center guests will notice fewer tables than before, as well as a request for social distancing when they are in line for their meals. While the mandatory use of masks and temperature taking have been halted, visitors, staff and volunteers still will be requested to answer health questions about COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.
All the usual activities will be allowed, including exercise classes five days a week, and bingo.
Benton County Care Manager Dee Locke will be at the Cole Camp Senior Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and can meet with people by appointment. Call 660-438-3300, Ext.3, for an appointment. Locke can connect older adults with benefits and answer a variety of questions on topics ranging from Medicare and property tax rebates to housing and family caregiving.
The center will update the website (goaging.org) and Facebook pages as it adds activities.
Staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks while clients are in the building. Home-delivered meal drivers will be required to wear masks, sanitize hands between clients, and stay socially distanced during the delivery of meals.