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Senior Center set to reopen soon

The Senior Center of South Pearl River County will be reopening June 22 with new restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The senior center has been offering pick up meals on Mondays, but once it reopens the center will transition back to on-site food service. The last pick up will be Monday.

The Governor’s recommendation that Mississippians age 65 and older continue to follow the safer at home order will be ending June 15. The Mississippi Department of Human Services will be allowing senior centers to reopen, said David Sykes, the senior center’s executive director.

Anyone who does not feel comfortable returning to the center is encouraged to wait to return, said Participation Coordinator Kathleen Penton.

Senior center visitors will have their temperature checked before entering the building. Face masks will be required so the center will have masks available for people who do not have their own. In the center people will have to practice social distancing by remaining six feet apart. The number of chairs at lunch tables will be reduced to facilitate social distancing.
Hand sanitizer will be available all over the building and staff will be vigilant about cleaning surfaces said Sykes. Surfaces should be cleaned hourly, he said.

Anyone who is coughing or sneezing will not be allowed in. Each visitor will have to sign a release and indemnity agreement for South Mississippi Planning and Development District.

All of the center’s classes will be available and the center’s bus will run as normal.
A week after the center was closed it was professionally sanitized and disinfected, said Sykes.

The center’s biggest concern is making sure that people who are symptomatic are not coming into the building, said Sykes. Although the new cleaning requirements have created extra work, staff members said they are excited to reopen.