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Last closed senior center to open Monday

Times Observer file photo The Allegheny Community Center in Warren is back open in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The senior center in Tidioute will open Monday, the last such facility to reopen.

With the opening of the Tidioute senior center on Monday, all of the county’s senior centers will have reopened in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But that doesn’t mean that the centers will function as they did a few months ago.

According to information provided by Kim Wilson with Experience, Inc., the centers will be limited to 30 percent capacity with six foot distancing for tables and lunch lines.

“Each center will be different depending on the square footage,” that information explained. “Tables and chairs will be spaces appropriately to maintain social distancing. They may not be moved. Reservations will be required until further notice.”

Both staff and seniors will be required to consent to a temperature check and those with readings over 100 degrees fahrenheit “will not be permitted to enter.

Those who are “coughing or otherwise appear will” be asked to leave and those participating will have to sign waivers of liability regarding the virus.

In addition to the temperature checks, consumers will also be required to fill out a health screening form when they return to the center for the first time.

Masks will also be required except for cases where a medical condition prohibits wearing one.

Several other procedural issues are also addressed by the guidance from Experience, Inc.

Hand washing will be required upon arrival, before lunch and when leaving and disposable and single use items will be utilized for meals.

“People may take their lunches home in take-out containers if they are not comfortable eating in a communal setting,” the information states. “Consumers can bring in their own lunches and beverages but can’t share with anyone, nor are they allowed to bring in food, such as dessets, to share”

In terms of specific activities, lunch, Tai Chi, Healthy Steps Chair Exercise and Bingo are permitted though cards and billiards (unless people bring their own cue stick and talk) and board games will not be allowed.

Should a positive test come up, the center will close immediately with those exposed to be notified. The facility will be cleaned and disinfected, local health officials will be consulted and “staff, volunteers and members having contact should self-quarantine immediately and be tested.”

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