Mt. Si Senior Center to re-open August 2nd

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, Aug. 2nd.

“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 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 quickly formed plans 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.

“The social isolation of the pandemic has been hard for many people,” said Kingsbury-Comeau, “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 essential part of the Center’s programming during the extended lockdown. The Center provided a homemade 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, we served about 16,000 meals to 123 seniors in our community. For many seniors, these meals helped keep them going during the extended isolation period,” Kingsbury- Comeau said.

Online programming was quickly introduced, and the Center’s monthly newsletter, available for free download on the Center’s website, listed all of the steps to set up social media accounts, use Zoom and 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.

“We wanted to make sure our seniors are feeling cared for and connected,” said Kingsbury- Comeau. “We’ve been pleased to serve our seniors during these last 18 months, and we’re even more excited that we’ll be seeing them in person starting Aug. 2.”

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