Senior center plans reopening

More than 15 months after it closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Highland County Senior Citizens Center has announced that it will reopen with a slightly different schedule on Monday, June 28.

For the time being at least, the senior center will be open three days a week — Monday, Tuesday and Friday — from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with some new policies and procedures as a precaution for the health of its membership.

“All the previous activities will be consolidated into those three days so no activities will be cancelled, and we’re really looking forward to having the membership back,” said executive director Mechell Frost. “Now that Covid numbers are down and vaccines are out, we going to reopen safely.”

The senior center at 185 Muntz St. in Hillsboro has been closed to its members since March 12, 2020.

Frost said the new policies and procedures will include checking everyone for Covid symptoms as they enter the building, members washing or sanitizing their hands before they participate in activities, and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces every two hours plus all games and other equipment immediately after their use.

In addition, all senior center staff members will have to be fully vaccinated for Covid and follow all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination schedules.

Frost said there will be some other policies and procedures, but the ones listed above are the main ones.

The primary reason the center’s hours have been reduced, Frost said, is because staff members will be working at the center before it opens and after it closes cleaning and disinfecting.

While the actual center was closed for more than 15 months, the senior center continued its Meals on Wheels program, had drive-through events where its members could pick up free essential supplies, and held bingo outings from vehicles at outdoor locations.

Frost also said that beginning July 31, the center will resume its popular fundraising events. The first event will be a performance with a live band from Elvis Presley tribute artist Tyler Christopher. Frost said tickets will go on sale soon.

Throughout the pandemic, Frost said there was a large number of businesses that contributed to allow the senior center to hold the events it held outside its doors. She said Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner and the health department kept the center informed from day one and throughout the pandemic.

“It’s been a long journey and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone again,” Frost said. “It’s exciting, and we want to thank all our sponsors who allowed us to continue our mission to serve our seniors the best we could.”

Anyone that is sick and or has Covid symptoms should not come to the center, Frost said.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 9376-402-2522.

Cast members from a previous “Hee Haw” production at the Highland County Senior Citizens Center are shown in this picture. members from a previous “Hee Haw” production at the Highland County Senior Citizens Center are shown in this picture. Times-Gazette file photo
Schedule limited to 3 days a week; fundraisers also coming back

By Jeff Gilliland