NCOA and NISC care about keeping senior centers safe and healthy, and information on how to deal with COVID-19 is critical as the situation continues to develop.
On this page, we will share the latest best practice information that senior centers are using to prevent the spread of the virus and keep their participants safe.
The first step for all senior centers is to contact your local public health department for the latest guidance on how to respond in your immediate area. Senior centers also can play an important role in sharing trusted information with older adults.
Guidance as senior centers gear back up for on-site programming
NISC is committed to helping your center continue to offer quality services and programs to your participants throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.
With your help through recent webinars and surveys, we have developed an evolving resource guide, Senior Centers Connect, with remote programming and service continuity ideas. This guide is available to all senior centers.
NISC is collecting State Departments on Aging, State Senior Center Associations and other senior center guidance plans and tools. Please let us know if you have a resource to share.
Here are a few resuming senior center on-site programming resources:
The Vermont Association of Senior Centers and Meal Providers (VASCAMP) worked on the Assessment Tool with the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living (DAIL). It is intended to be a checklist to help centers to know when they’re ready to re-open.
Recommendations for Reopening- Scaling Up Senior Center Operations from Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA)
The MCOA Task Force has provided the suggested guidelines below for consideration in working with your local Board of Health and other municipal officials regarding the prospective reopening and/or the scaling up of operations at your senior centers. These are based on guidance from the State, CDC and other sources. The following are fluid documents and will be updated as warranted.
- Overall Considerations for Transportation Services provided by COA’s
- Overall Considerations for Senior Center Facilities
MCOA will be providing you with both, COVID-19 Operations and Communications Plan templates for each of the following areas:
- Reopening/Scaling up Centers
- Reopening/Scaling up Transportation
- Reopening/Scaling up Remote Programs
The Operations Plan templates are based on the State’s guidance that all businesses in the state of MA must develop a written control plan outlining how it will comply with the mandatory safety standards for operation in the COVID-19 reopening period for: Social Distancing, Hygiene Protocols, Staffing and Operations and Cleaning and Disinfecting. The Operations Plans will also contain links to additional guidance on the specific areas; Centers, Transportation, and Programs and Services.
Re-opening Recommendations for Senior Centers from the Pennsylvania Association of Senior Centers (PASC)
On May 29, 2020, the PASC Board of Directors drafted and adopted a Re-opening Recommendation Plan for PA senior centers, which was submitted and accepted by the PA Department of Aging. These recommendations should be used in collaboration with the Department’s guidelines.
- Of Note: To determine how many participants a senior center can serve per social distancing guidelines. This number is determined by taking the total square footage of programming space and dividing it by 113. The number 113 is the square footage needed around an individual for six (6) feet of social distancing.
NCOA Crossroads post – KovirPage LLC’s CEO Marie Gress shared a booklet of guidance for resuming senior center on-site programming informed by medical providers.
Upcoming COVID-19 webinars for senior centers
NISC will continue to hold webinars to share ideas and best practices for remote programming and service continuity as the Coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve. Your input during these conversations helps us develop materials for all senior centers to use! Future webinars will be announced here, and you can view past webinars related to the pandemic below.
Senior Center Operating Status
Please let us know the operating status of your senior center by filling out this survey. You can fill it out more than once if the operating status of your center changes.
The below chart indicates the results of this survey as of 5/15/20. The responses in order are 76.92% reporting “the center is closed with some staff reporting, limited programs offered”, 18.93% report “the center is closed, no staff reporting” and 4.14% report that the “center is open with limited programs”. Please take the survey again if the operating status of your center changes.
NISC Webinars on COVID-19 Resources for Senior Centers
Guidance for Resuming On-Site Senior Center Operations
View the slides from the Guidance for Resuming On-Site Senior Center Operations webinar here.
NISC Leadership Coronavirus Conversation – March 2020
NISC Leadership Coronavirus Conversation – April 2020
Many partners are asking whether NCOA’s Age+Action Conference June 8-11 is still on. We are happy to announce that Age+Action will now be a virtual experience. The conference will have reduced fees of $250 for 4 days. Register today!
Resources for the latest Coronavirus news
Below are resources with the latest news on the Coronavirus situation.