Northampton Senior Center closes for non-essential use amid COVID surge

  • Northampton Senior Center GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 1/12/2022 6:12:21 PM
Modified: 1/12/2022 6:11:29 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The Senior Center is closed for all non-essential purposes until further notice due to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the state and in Northampton, the Senior Services department has announced.

Essential services are defined as food distribution on the second Thursday of each month; transportation, available by calling (413) 584-7979; curbside lunch pickup on Tuesday and Thursday with pre-registration required; and AARP tax preparation appointments, which will be conducted curbside.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 22,184 new cases of COVID-19 statewide on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total case count to nearly 1.29 million since the start of the pandemic. The latest data from the Northampton Health Department shows 537 cases were identified between Dec. 23 and Jan. 5, accounting for 20% of all COVID-19 cases in the city to date.

“If you are an older adult in Northampton or a caregiver with a need related to the impact of the coronavirus, please reach out to us!” Northampton Senior Services wrote in a public statement announcing the temporary closure of the building. “We can help you schedule a vaccination or booster appointment, provide you with information on how to get tested, and help with lots of other resources.”

The Senior Center is available by phone at (413) 587-1228 and by email at SeniorServices@northamptonma.gov. Phone calls will be returned in 24 to 48 hours.

“Return calls to you made by staff working from home may display as local or out of state area codes,” the Senior Services statement reads. “If you are screening calls please remember to check messages, as we may be trying to reach you.”

Northampton Senior Services said it also provides up-to-date information on its Facebook page.

The Board of Health recently updated its full vaccination requirement for members, volunteers, contractors and visitors of the Senior Center, defining “full vaccination” as both shots in a two-shot series, or one shot in a single-shot series, plus a booster when eligible. The new requirement goes into effect on Monday.

The requirement does not apply to “organizations that partner with the Senior Center or to the general public that use the building for activities including farmers markets, municipal voting and the brown bag program,” according to Ward 1 City Councilor Stanley Moulton.

Brian Steele can be reached at bsteele@gazettenet.com.

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