The Parker Community/Senior Center has reopened, even if it’s on a limited basis. With La Paz County meeting the benchmarks set by the Arizona Department of Health Services for slowing the spread of the coronavirus, the center reopened Tuesday, Sept. 8.
The center had been closed since March. Center Director Darla Tilley said, “We are so happy to be open again!”
Tilley said they are serving lunch, and they are open for meals at the center or take-out meals. They are practicing social distancing, as recommended by ADHS and the Centers for Disease Control. Tilley said they were limited to just 50 people dining at one time in the center. She said they are averaging 30 to 35 meals at the center every day, and they are almost evenly split between dining in and take-out.
Tilley said the limit of 50 people could present challenges as more seniors learn they have reopened and when many of the winter visitors return to the area. A possible solution would be having two seatings for lunch.
In addition to limiting the number of diners, other practices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus include taking the temperatures of people as they arrive at the center and seating only four at each table. Face masks are required when patrons are not seated at their tables. Social distancing markers are placed in various locations on the floor. As an example, while waiting in line for their meals at the serving counter, patrons are required to follow the signs on the floor and stay at least six feet apart.
The center uses paper plates and pre-packaged plastic tableware as precautions against the coronavirus. Drinks such as water, coffee, and tea are served at a separate location from the serving counter.
“It all seems to be working out pretty well,” Tilley said.
As for the staff, Tilley said they are all required to wear masks. In addition, she’ll speak with each of them as they arrive for work and ask them how they’re feeling that day.
Tilley said the center would start back with some activities starting the week of Sept. 14. If activities are restarted, they will need to follow the social distancing and other guidelines set to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
If people want information on events at the center, they can call 928-669-9514. The center is located at 1115 12th Street, at the corner of 12th Street and Laguna Avenue.