The following was asked by Erica Perez, with the Town of Queen Creek. Please weigh in and I will attempt to post responses as we gain them.
With the announcement (just hours ago) from Gov. Ducey declaring a public health emergency, QC is looking to see what everyone is doing in terms of their Senior Services. In QC, our Senior Program is housed in the same building as our Special Intrest Classes, so we have a wide range of demographics coming through the door. With that being said, we have been directed to come up with an action plan.
Have any of you canceled/suspended programs?
What measures have you put in place or are you going to put into place?
City of Apache Junction response:
As of now, we have not cancelled any programs or senior services. Our recreation division has met and implemented the following as it relates to Senior Services and all of the programming at our Multi-Generational Center (like QC, a myriad of ages, special interest classes, fitness, etc is housed in the same building as senior services).
For now, our action plan includes:
• Continuing routine daily cleaning/disinfecting of fitness equipment, towels, etc and increasing areas of higher use
• Extra cleaning of equipment used in classes
• Asking staff/instructors to help clean/sanitize and remind their participants to do so before/after classes
• Adding hand sanitizer to front desk counters and any common area (dinning room)
• Wrapping silverware, additional cleaning and wiping down of shared items (salt/pepper shakers/water pitchers)
• Cleaning toys in the dishwasher daily-on the days it is open morning and night, we will run two loads
• Reminding lunch participants of washing hands, how long to wash hands for and if they are not feeling well they should stay home
• Signage placed in all areas to remind individuals to stay home if ill, wash hands, etc. (similar to what we post during the regular flu season)
• Daily congregate meal announcements include some of the above reminders to our seniors
• All staff are encouraged to stay home if ill, and notify us immediately of symptoms or confirmation of COVID
Pinal Gila Council for Senior Citizens (PGCSC), who represents Region 5 of Area Agency on Ageing, has reached out to those senior centers in their scope and shared some tips specifically for senior centers that was put out by the state of Washington (I have attached what our coordinator, JJ Underwood, shared with us). It says a lot of the same things that our county health officials are saying, but may prove helpful.
Additionally, we are being told that the state (DES/Ageing & Adult Services Departments) have control of whether or not senior programs are shut down temporarily or not and will help us to make those decisions (I am assuming this is only for those receiving federal/state funding through AAA for meal/transportation/rec programs). As of now, the State's position is that it is business as usual, but do recommend you take proper precautions and be ready to implement emergency feeding plans in case.
IF we should have a potential case, anywhere in our center, we have instructions to contact Pinal County Health Services, CDC, and PGCSC immediately to help determine next steps.