Coronavirus COVID-19 Plan at Del Norte Senior Center
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is a growing health concern in the United States, California and Del Norte County. Although there have not been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Del Norte County as of the writing of this message, there also has not been the ability to easily test the population. In truth, we simply don't know if the virus is already in our community, so must proceed as if it were.
What we do know is that the effects of COVID-19 on those over age 60 are much more serious than in the younger population. Elders with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems are at even greater risk of serious complications and fatal outcomes. For that reason, the Del Norte Senior Center must be especially proactive in protecting the health and well-being of our guests. To that end, the Del Norte Senior Center Board of Directors has approved the following plan for responding to health concerns, while still providing essential services to our community.
1. We are regretfully canceling all social and recreational activities for the remainder of March. This includes yoga, chair exercises, card groups, crafts groups, special presentations, etc. We can’t guarantee the recommended social distancing between participants in these activities to keep everyone safe from virus transmission. During this time, we encourage those who regularly socialize at the Senior Center to continue to keep in touch with each other by phone, social media or video chat. We will be exploring the possibility of having staff or volunteers call as many folks as we can with check-in calls to maintain our sense of community. We don't want anyone to feel like they are in this alone.
2. Our home-delivered meals program will continue with maximum attention paid to both participant and employee safety.
3. Our onsite, congregate meals program will be converted as much as possible to a take-out service. We encourage participants to come to the Senior Center and pick up a packaged meal to-go. For right now, we can allow minimal, widely-spaced onsite dining for those who have transportation or other barriers that would make take-out unworkable. Participant presence in the Center will be limited to consuming the meal, then leaving on the next available transportation. Even this limited on-site dining will be discontinued when Del Norte County has its first positive COVID-19 case or if we are advised to do so by Public Health guidance.
4. Others who normally participate in the congregate meal program, but who can’t come to pick up a meal because they aren’t feeling well or have severe transportation limitations can have meals delivered to them.
5. We will continue to offer utility assistance services to all income-qualifying households. Applications can be obtained on the Energy tab on this website and at the Senior Center. We will suspend in-person eligibility interviews to meet social distancing guidelines. We will still process applications as long as we receive a completed, signed application and are provided all of the documentation necessary to establish eligibility.
6. Our low-income household weatherization program was already on hold for other reasons. We are waiting on guidance from the state on how to resume these services safely.
Anyone with questions related to our programs may call our main telephone line, (707) 464-3069 and ask for telephone assistance with the specific program: Nutrition Program: Ext 203 Energy Program: Ext 207 Information and Assistance: Ext 208
During this time, please make sure you are getting information from trusted, fact and science-based sources. Don't rely on social media or rumors that don't have good, easily-found factual sources and credible medical information. The best place to start is the Del Norte County Department of Public Health:
Limiting access to the Senior Center is an unprecedented decision for an unprecedented time. We each have within us the choice to continue to support each other through this time, even at a distance. Please reach out if you need assistance.