Easthampton Council on Aging building closes during COVID surge – GazetteNET

Easthampton Council on Aging building closes during COVID surge <br />




  • <span class="lightgalleryimg" data-src="/getattachment/8c97e404-4369-4e5c-ab5b-9373e6f9cb4f/ehcoaclosure-hg122921-ph1" data-sub-html="GAZETTE FILE PHOTOThe Easthampton Council on Aging Enrichment Center was virtually empty in the noon hour on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO “>

    GAZETTE FILE PHOTOThe Easthampton Council on Aging Enrichment Center was virtually empty in the noon hour on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer

Published: 12/30/2021 9:39:34 AM

Modified: 12/30/2021 9:39:07 AM

EASTHAMPTON — The city’s Council on Aging and Enrichment Center building is closed to the public for group activities due to the latest surge of COVID-19 cases.

Easthampton Health Director Bri Eichstaedt recently announced for the week of Dec. 8 to Dec. 14, the city had 85 active cases of COVID-19 — the highest number of cases for a one-week period in 2021. She earlier said she expects a substantial increase in COVID cases after the December and January holidays.

Given this projection and the building’s physical layout, the center is closed to the public for group activities through Jan. 18. While the building is closed to group activities, staff will continue to provide services over the phone or online. Services that require in-person service, such as fuel assistance, will be conducted with higher-quality masks and opened windows, said Council on Aging Director Cynthia “Cindy” Tarail.

The SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs for Everyone) program, which is a state health insurance assistance program that provides free health insurance information, counseling and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers, also will continue with in-person service on a one-to-one basis.

Mayor Nicole LaChapelle and the Health Department made this decision in the interest of community and staff health, Tarail said.

“The Easthampton Council on Aging is temporarily operating with as much physical distancing as possible to do our part to flatten the current COVID-19 surge,” she said. “We are reducing the number of riders using our vehicles at a time. Staff and volunteers are maintaining their distance in the center, as are other city workers, through January 18.”

Participants in group activities like Healthy Bones, Tai Chi, Bingo and veterans that convene at the center will be welcomed back in late January, Tarail said. In the meantime, a few group activities, including the Men’s Group, will be held remotely.

Staff and volunteers will continue to distribute Highland Valley Elder Services take-and-go meals outdoors at 50 Payson Ave. and provide limited home shopping and delivery service.

For information about transportation services, remote programming or to sign up for meals, contact the reception desk at 413-527-6151 ext. 135.

The center’s reception desk is closed on Thursday, Dec. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon and after 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 31. The center is closed on Monday, Jan. 3.

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.

If Javascript is disabled in your browser, to place orders please visit the page where I sell my photos, powered by Fotomoto.



Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.