Darien Senior Center programs will be shut down starting this Monday, at least as far as having anyone go in the Mather Center for them, the town government announced Friday morning.
But a new drive-through, lunch pickup program in the parking lot outside the Mather Center is being started, only for seniors already enrolled in the Senior Center. The announcement didn’t specify exactly when.
The announcement also gave some advice for seniors to protect themselves during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Darienite.com reported on Tuesday that the Senior Center had opted to stay open, although it was following direction from First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and town Health Director David Knauf and state authorities on that.
Earlier this week, Greenwich shut down its senior center, as did Stamford, except for senior lunches in the Stamford Government Center. Late Thursday or early Friday, Norwalk Senior Center announced that it, too, is closing, starting Monday, although the Norwalk Meals-on-Wheels program continues for those already registered for it.
The announcement gave no explanation for why the shutdown decision waited between Tuesday and Friday.
Full Text of the Announcement:
Darien Senior Programs at Mather Center, out of an abundance of caution and in order to protect our members, we will temporarily suspend all programs and activities effective Monday, March 16, 2020. There are no positive cases of COVID-19 reported in the town of Darien at this time.
“The safety and well-being of our members is our highest priority”, says Director of Darien Senior Programs Beth Paris. “While we recognize that our members count on Darien Senior Programs for vital socialization, exercise, and a nutritious noon meal, we are following current guidance from Governor Lamont and state and local health officials.
As a service to Darien Senior Program members only, during our temporary closure, we will be offering a Monday through Friday “drive thru” lunch pick-up program. Center Members should call (203) 656- 7490 before 11:00 on the days they wish to order lunch. Pick up will be outside Mather Center’s front entrance between 12 noon and 12:30. Senior Program’s staff will be there to assist you.
In addition, staff suggests that seniors make the following preparations in case a community outbreak does occur in Darien requiring seniors to remain at home:
—Have two weeks of non-perishable foods in your home (canned soup, crackers, peanut butter and jelly, tuna) to avoid the need to go to the grocery store
—Make sure you get your prescription filled now and you have any over-the-counter medications you may need
—Stay in touch with family, friends and neighbors by phone or email in case you need help
—Keep your primary care doctor’s phone number handy in case you get sick
—If you have a paid caregiver, make sure you have a back-up in case your caregiver gets sick and cannot get to your home
Senior Programs staff, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, Public Health Director David Knauf and Human Services Director Ali Ramsteck are monitoring this situation closely and will authorize resuming programs as soon as the health risks of group gatherings are no longer a concern.
Senior Program members can contact staff at (203)656-7490 from Monday – Friday, 8:30-3:00 for information and assistance