RELEASE: Mayor Orders Suspension of City-Operated Senior Center Buildings

RELEASE: Mayor Orders Suspension of City-Operated Senior Center Buildings

Bernard C. “Jack” Young
Mayor,
City of Baltimore
250 City Hall • Baltimore, Maryland 21202 • 410-396-3835
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 12, 2020
Contact:
James E. Bentley II
james.bentley2@baltimorecity.gov
443-257-9794 (Mobile)


PRESS RELEASE
Mayor Orders Suspension of City-Operated Senior Center Buildings
All Centers Will Suspend Programming, Effective Immediately

BALTIMORE, MD. — Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young has announced that, effective immediately, all discretionary activities are temporarily suspended for older adults, including all programming at the seven City-operated Senior Center buildings.


These programs include all special events, class activities and vocational trips involving older adults.


"We understand that these recommendations will have a major impact on our residents and anyone who visits our City, but they were made after careful consideration and in consultation with our health care professionals," Mayor Young said.


“While there are no confirmed cases in Baltimore City, the health and safety of residents, staff, and volunteers is our number one priority. Based on the recommendation given earlier today by the Maryland Department of Aging, we are temporarily suspending services at senior centers until further notice. This step is consistent with our commitment to taking the necessary steps consistent with preparedness recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said.


The City Operated Senior Centers will remain staffed to assist older adults and continue to provide meals, supplies, and information and referral services to those who need it. Planned activities involving mass gatherings, trips and classes will be suspended.


Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, the Baltimore City Health Department will provide boxed lunches at congregate meal sites to allow participants the choice to take their meals home to eat. If there are factors that prevent participants from picking up a meal, meals can be delivered as an option by calling the Maryland Access Point at 410-396-2273, for eligibility into the home-delivered meal program.


Older adults and people with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are at the highest risk for serious illness of COVID-19.


CDC updated recommendations for older adults 60 years of age and older include:
Stock up on supplies like food and medicine
Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
When you go out in public, stay away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often
Avoid crowds as much as possible
Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel
Stay home as much as possible to reduce your to reduce further your risk of being exposed if there is an outbreak
Everyone can play a part in supporting older adults and people at most risk by:
Knowing what medications your loved one is taking
Helping monitor food and other supplies like oxygen, incontinence products and create a backup plan to get additional supplies
Stocking up on non-perishable food items at the home
If your loved one is living in a care facility, monitor the situation closely and stay informed, and know the protocol if there is a possible outbreak at the facility. i.e., the Maryland Department of Health, new guidelines restrict visits.


Older Adults or caregivers who need additional community support for their loved ones can call our Maryland Access Point at 410-396-CARE (2273).