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It’s been a long time since Mt. Si Senior Center was able to open its doors to the community, but the wait is finally over. The Center will resume on-site programming on Monday, August 2nd. The Center will follow Washington State guidelines on masks and social distancing. Masks are encouraged, but not required for fully vaccinated people.
Since the Center closed to the public on March 12, 2020, staff members and volunteers transitioned to keep in contact with many of the Center’s regular visitors, with meals to go, regular phone calls to fight the stress of extended isolation and online programming.
“We are so excited to welcome back our community members after this long wait,” said Mt. Si Senior Center Executive Director Susan Kingsbury-Comeau. “Everyone is welcome, and welcome to rejoin us when they are ready. The social isolation of the pandemic has been hard for many people, which is why we prioritized resuming on-site programming. We will also continue to offer online and remote programming for those who have health and safety concerns about returning to the Center in person.”
Lunches were an especially important part of the Center’s programming during the extended lockdown. The Center provided a home-made nutritious meal for seniors to pick up every weekday throughout the pandemic. While seniors who can come to the Center are encouraged to do so for lunches starting Aug 2, the Center’s senior advocate will help arrange delivery for those unable to visit the Center.
Since March 2020, the Mt. Si Senior Center served about 16,000 meals to 123 seniors in the community. For many seniors, those meals helped keep them going during the extended isolation period. During the closure, online programming was introduced and the Center’s monthly newsletter, available for free download on the Center’s website, listed all of the steps to help seniors set up social media accounts, use Zoom and offered other ways to connect online. While in person programming wasn’t possible, the newsletter also included a range of online videos, Zoom meetings, and, starting earlier this year a weekly schedule of party-line programming for people who prefer dialing in instead of logging in.
The Center also began outdoor programming early this spring, and hosted several drive-through events, including a community health and resource fair, and a member-appreciation barbecue dinner.
Welcome Back, Mt. Si Senior Center!
Find Mt. Si Senior Center on Facebook, or at www.mtsiseniorcenter.org.