Meals may be served — in person — at the main Wood County Senior Center starting June 21.
At Wednesday’s meeting of the Wood County Committee on Aging Board, Executive Director Denise Niese said that if coronavirus cases continue to decline, congregate meals can start.
The target number is for Wood County cases to be 100 or fewer per 100,000 population, Niese said.
The meals would be served initially at the new Bowling Green senior center, 140 S. Grove St.
“Then we will start rolling out to the other sites,” Niese said. “This is all dependent to where we as a county stand on case numbers.
“Again, it is tentative.”
Wood County would have to drop from red, which it has been since last summer, to orange or yellow levels in the state public advisory board.
Last week, there were 123 cases per 100,000 in Wood County. The public health advisory levels are updated by the state on Thursdays.
“I think it’s very encouraging,” said board member Sue Hart-Douglas of the meal serving plan.
In the next couple weeks, clients who currently receive a home-delivered meal daily will be asked if they will be returning to in-person dining. Niese said this will help the staff prepare for any route changes.
Reservations for in-person dining will also be required, she said.
“We’ve never requested reservations for lunches, but in order to (limit) food waste, we will require reservations,” Niese said. “We don’t want to have 10 meals or 15 meals go to waste.”
Niese was asked how restrooms would be monitored as the sites are visited by more seniors. The reopening plan calls for one person using a bathroom.
At the main center, where there is good ventilation and the bathrooms are large, two people could use them, Niese said.
“At the other sites, the seniors just need to respect each other’s space,” she said, adding that staff would not be the “potty police.”
In other business, Niese said that staff will no longer have to be tested for coronavirus every two weeks, if they are vaccinated.
“This new order allows us to no longer be mandated to test any staff who have received their full vaccination protocol … and have passed their two-week window,” she said.
The testing has dropped from from 50 to 13 people.
“I think we’ll end up with eight or nine of our staff, for whatever reason, are not getting vaccinated,” said Jason Miller, manager of human resources.
“Just to remind you, we are not mandating vaccinations for staff or participants,” Niese added. “We still have to respect personal choice or personal situation.”
The Bowling Green senior center is in phase three of the committee on aging’s plan to fully reopen. There are some in-person activities going on at the center.
The Perrysburg, Rossford and Northeast (Walbridge) centers are in phase two, which means visitors are allowed by appointment only from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Plans continue to reopen the North Baltimore, Wayne, Pemberville and Grand Rapid sites, Niese said.
Also at the meeting, the board:
• Heard an official ribbon cutting for the new senior center at 140 S. Grove St. will be held June 18 at 10 a.m. To make a reservation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Heard that some members met with the Wood County Commissioners, who have to approve the board’s Nov. 2 levy request.
“They did give us support for the levy,” said board President Eric Myers, adding that it still formally needs to be put on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The board is asking for a renewal of the 0.7-mill levy and for a new 0.3-mill levy, both for five years.
Board member Tim McCarthy, Perrysburg, and Colleen Smith, a former board member from Bowling Green, will co-chair the levy committee.
• Heard that the refurbished dining room tables will arrive at the new senior center later this month. This is the last of the furniture to be placed in the new building.