SOUTHINGTON —The Calendar House Senior Center is scheduled to reopen Monday with safety protocols in place due to the pandemic.
“I think we are pretty excited,, but there’s a lot of fear out there at the moment,” said Senior Center Advisory Commission Chairman Mark White. “Some of our seniors literally don’t go out of their houses and that’s a particular frightening situation. It’s critical that older people keep in touch with other people. And that’s really the situation we’re trying to deal with at the moment. We can’t have a lot of various social activities because social stuff tends to mean close.”
With this in mind, stringent measures consistent with state regulations, such as social distancing and wearing masks, will be enforced. Senior Center hours will be adjusted so staff can clean and sanitize, said Executive Director Robert Verderame in a Zoom meeting on Tuesday.
Activities that don’t allow for social distancing, like bingo, White said, will not be offered.
People wanting to use the center can only do so by appointment, Verderame said, and the length of their stay will be restricted.
White said the point of time restrictions would be not only to prevent any crowding from occurring, but to also allow other residents who want to use the senior center to do so. So far, activity rooms and classes will be restricted to one-and-a-half to two hours.
The library, craft room, and larger rooms, as well as the coffee station and fountains, will not be in use.
“Our goals are to keep our staff safe and of course the people that come in here,” Verderame said. “We are in an area where the most vulnerable could be the victims here. And one thing I don’t like is we’re not taking temperatures at the door.”
Local Health Director Shane Lockwood said in accordance with all sectors of the population and positive cases, the health department would initiate contact tracing and remind those who have tested positive of COVID-19 to self-quarantine.
Many physical activities such as the Cardio Room, pool sessions, and various others will return and residents wishing to participate must pre-register.
The Dial-A-Ride Bus service, responsible for transporting Southington residents 55 or over, will be only admitting three passengers, with each row occupied alone.
“It’s a tough situation which is why we’re really taking it a bit at a time,” White said. “What we do anticipate probably is that we may get a lot of people who are scared to come out and so we don’t know how big the numbers are going to be.”
To make an appointment, call the Calendar House at 860-621-3014. For more information, visit the Calendar House website at https://www.calendarhouse.org/.