MASON COUNTY — Mason County’s two senior citizen centers will remain open as of now, but extra precautions are being taken due to the Coronavirus, according to Renae Riffle, executive director of the Mason County Action Group.
Riffle said a conference call was held Monday between the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services and all county senior program provider agencies. The bureau did not require the centers to close at this time, but is requiring the providers to put together a plan of action.
The Mason County Action Group has already announced a plan, and Riffle said that plan seemed sufficient as to what was being requested. She said she is looking over it before submitting the plan to the bureau, however, for any additions that could be made.
Currently, each senior center in Point Pleasant and Mason has one designated entrance and exit for participants. Each individual entering the center will have their temperature assessed with a non-contact thermometer and will be asked a few questions regarding their current health situation. The information will remain confidential.
If an individual has a temperature above the normal range, or has a cough, he will not be allowed to enter the center and will be advised to seek medical attention. The individual will be provided a hot meal and one frozen meal prior to leaving. This will provide them with meals for a few days while they seek medical attention.
If an individual does not have a fever or cough, he will be allowed to attend the senior center, participate in activities, and have lunch. Seniors are being asked to split up and not sit as larger groups at one table. Frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer is a must. Senior center staff will be cleaning surfaces more frequently to attempt to eliminate any health issues.
In addition, staff and anyone entering the business office will have their temperatures assessed and asked the same health questions. If the individual shows a health issue, he will not be allowed to enter the center. Specific protocols are also in effect for in-home care workers, transportation drivers, and home delivered meal drivers.
Riffle said the main objective is to protect the senior population while providing them with the services they need. She said changes are likely to occur, and she will keep the public updated through Facebook and the senior center website at www.masonseniors.com. For more information, call 304-675-2369.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.