Despite Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s recent announcement that senior centers could open Sept. 21 if they meet certain safety standards, Highland County Senior Citizens Director Mechell Frost said the Hillsboro center will not be opening at that time.
“Having all the materials, supplies and manpower to open as the state would require it just too much,” Frost said. “We had a board meeting and the board decided we do not have the staff to comply with state laws, so we will not be opening.”
“We will continue to do parking lot drive-thru events like we have since we closed on March 12,” she added. “Since that time we have been doing a lot of events where we hand out essential supplies that were hard to find, and it is because of generous sponsors and donors that made it possible for us to hand out those supplies and free lunches.”
It is disappointing that the center can’t open, Frost said, but she also said it will continue to offer whatever it can without having people actually enter the building.
“We understand the governor’s mandates, because the health and safety of our members is our number one priority,” Frost said.
The center’s Meals on Wheels program that is offered to some residents living in the Hillsboro city limits will continue as it has since the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset.
DeWine announced on Aug. 20 that adult day care centers and senior centers could open at a reduced capacity beginning on Sept. 21 if the facilities could meet certain safety standards outlined in a forthcoming health order. But when the safety standards came out later, Frost said it was not possible for the Hillsboro facility to comply with them.
She said the center’s last planned event was a concert by Elvis Presley tribute artist Tyler Christopher that was scheduled for March 28. She said the center sold 291 tickets for the show, and that everyone that purchased a ticket had been refunded except a couple people because the center had no way to contact them.
She said anyone that has not been refunded can call the center 937-393-4745 and leave a message if no one answers.
Plans are for the Elvis show to return next year, Frost said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.