Update: The Cloverdale Senior Multipurpose Center is suspending classes for the remainder of the month.
The Cloverdale Senior Multipurpose Center sent out an email Thursday morning, March 5, urging center attendees to stay home if they’re feeling ill. They also assured members that the center is taking “necessary precautions” to lower the risk of exposure to COVID-19, a novel strain of coronavirus, to local seniors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID-19 is more likely to impact older adults and those with severe chronic medical conditions. Because of this, local gathering places like senior centers are making it a point to address fears surrounding the spread of COVID-19.
“At this point we’re doing all the preventatives,” said Program Coordinator Melanie Hall.
Hall said that she began hearing concerns from senior center members toward the beginning of the year, when COVID-19 cases initially began popping up. She noted that in recent weeks, attendance at senior center events and classes has declined.
Most recently, the center sent out an email on March 11 notifying members of some events that have been canceled until further notice. Those events include Yoga for You with Bruce Johnson, Guitars for Vets, the "Reflections of Life" potluck in honor of Susan Swartz, "Alive Inside" video showing, the Healdsburg Windsor Mortuary Lunch and the Healthcare for All presentation.
Measures that they’re taking include: wiping down frequently touched surfaces throughout the day and posting signs around the building urging people to stay home if they’re sick, cover their cough with their elbow or a tissue, wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, to not touch their face and to avoid wearing perfume or cologne to the center as to avoid causing “respiratory distress” for those who may be sensitive to smells.
The email also included a set of recommendations for community members on how to prevent the spreading of potential illnesses.
“We have to make sure that our senior center population is safe and protected and healthy,” Hall said.
The center decided to send out the email blast after seeing a similar one from the Sebastopol Senior Center, and they used it as a template for the one they sent out.
Hall said that the center doesn’t have more extensive plans currently in place should someone in the Cloverdale community get COVID-19, since the situation is unpredictable. She noted, however, that the center will be following any advice given by city and local government.