WAUSEON — The Fulton County Board of Commissioners decided to keep the Fulton County Senior Center closed to the public.
On March 20 Gov. Mike DeWine announced all Ohio senior centers were to close because of COVID-19. Since this announcement the Fulton County Senior Center closed its doors to the public while still maintaining meal assistance. DeWine has now announced senior centers may reopen if they can follow health guidelines issued by Lance Himes, interim director of the Ohio Department of Health.
Guidelines the Fulton County Senior Center must follow to reopen include but are not limited to:
• implementing COVID-19 testing to all participants and staff.
• all participants and staff shall be pre-screened for COVID-19 via telephone before visiting a facility.
• screening all participants prior to or immediately entering the facility.
• no individuals shall be allowed in the designated entry point without a mask.
• the facility shall maintain a daily log that tracks attendance of each participant.
• social distancing shall be maintained.
• facilities shall take appointments and sign-up participants for activities ahead of time.
• providers shall assess existing capacity and identify participants best suited to return to the facility.
“We hate keeping the senior center closed,” said Jon Rupp, Fulton County commissioner. “We miss having our facilities open and active and anxiously await the return of our seniors, but priority will always be providing the best experience for them. To provide the best experience at this time means we must consider their health and the environment they will be in when at our facilities. Knowing at this time we can’t meet some of the mandated guidelines without some additional clarifications from the State Department of Aging and the potential risks that are at stake because of COVID-19 tells us we can’t offer that best experience for our seniors. Therefore we will remain closed at this time.”
The center currently serves 3,000-3,500 seniors in various ways. In August, the center served 11,000 meals through its home delivery and drive-thru meal services.
The Fulton County commissioners will continue to monitor the reopening guidelines for changes.
For additional information or questions, call the Fulton County Board of Commissioners at 419-337-9255.