Wood Co. senior sites closed; home-delivered meals available

Press Staff Writer

        All eight Wood County Committee on Aging senior sites are closed to the public, at least through March 31. Locations include Walbridge, Pemberville, Perrysburg, Rossford, Grand Rapids, Wayne, North Baltimore, and the Wood County Senior Center in Bowling Green
        “As March 31 approaches, we will consult with the Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Batey regarding the status of re-opening,” said Denise Niese, WCCOA executive director. “We are reinforcing the importance to our participants to remain at home and avoid public gatherings. We are also continuing to encourage the congregate dining site participants to take advantage of home-delivered meals during this time.”
        WCCOA’s plan moving forward will be modified as need arises or recommended by the Wood County Health Department, Niese said.
        The current plan calls for the following:
        • Medical Escort will be provided on a case-by-case basis (but not for clients who are symptomatic of the virus).
        • WCCOA will work with the Wood County Health Department to access masks for use by staff and volunteers who will be delivering meals and/or working directly with the public.
        • All senior center locations will be closed to participants and the general public.
        • All congregate meal clients will be offered home-delivered meal service during the duration of the sites being closed.
        • All current home-delivered meal clients will continue to receive meals.
        • All participants will receive one hot lunch delivered daily and will be offered a weekly drop of seven frozen meals to reheat for dinner.
        • WCCOA will be developing a modified menu for the timeframe determined for the closure. This menu will offer one entrée rather than a choice and during Lent all Friday menus will be meat-free (i.e. vegetable lasagna or macaroni and cheese).
        • Staff and volunteers who will be delivering home-delivered meals will not be entering homes unless absolutely necessary to make the delivery. Staff/volunteers will also be instructed to remain at least six feet away from a client if they need to enter the residence. The clients will be asked to have a table/surface near the inside of the door or on their front porch in their garage for meals to be placed upon at delivering. In order to assure that the client is well, the staff/volunteer will have a visual of the client or at minimum voice interaction through the door.
        • All centers and staff will increase the frequency of sanitizing their work areas and public areas with disinfectant which has the compounds necessary to kill human coronavirus. This includes disinfecting agency vehicles.
        • All centers will be thoroughly cleaned prior to re-opening following the closure
        • All staff will be reassigned duties which will support the delivery of identified essential services, most notably home-delivered meals.
        “We will also be contacting management at the senior living apartments throughout Wood County for their assistance in organizing the ability to make a single drop within their specific complex (and for the management and their maintenance staff to deliver to specific apartments),” Niese said. “This will reduce exposure of WCCOA staff and volunteers should a resident within a complex be infected with the coronavirus.”
        Wood County residents who do not currently frequent a senior center in Wood County and who opt to follow the recommendation to remain at home and avoid crowds and public places, and who may find that they would benefit from participating in the home-delivered meals programs may call WCCOA at 419-353-5661 for additional information.


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