Dominoes, card games, cooking classes, exercise programs, or just hours of conversation with old and new friends. Those are some of the many activities that older adults miss from the senior centers they are used to spending the day at in their homes. neighborhoods in New York City. And for those New Yorkers, Mayor Bill de Blasio gave them good news this Tuesday, that the Senior centers will reopen on April 14.
“Seniors deeply miss the opportunity to be together, and they have been the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis, being the most vulnerable, and we have to continue doing everything in our power to continue protecting them, ”said the Mayor, adding that thanks to the high vaccination figures among this population, “it is time to move forward, and after hearing from many of them that they are ready to return, I tell them that it will be so in two weeks.”
De Blasio went further by announcing that even “low risk” outdoor activities can begin immediately.
“We will be very careful, they will be safe and we will ensure that they continue to maintain a smart distance and all other precautions to keep these places safe,” the president guaranteed.
With approximately the 72% of the elderly who have already received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the City authorities feel confident that it is time to take that step of once again allowing the elderly to meet with other people, even though they remain the segment of the population more vulnerable to the virus.
BREAKING NEWS! Mayor de Blasio announced that senior centers will be able to re-open on June 14th! In addition, senior centers can summarize low-risk outdoor activities immediately! We are so excited at soon having older adults back at our centers. #SummerOfNYC pic.twitter.com/iRZJnEqo1o
– NYC Seniors (@NYCSeniors) June 1, 2021
The Commissioner of the Department of Older Adults Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, indicated that despite the new regulations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that eliminates social distancing in interior spaces if people are vaccinated, explained that by not being able to ‘discriminate’ and distinguish who is and who is not vaccinated, “and that is why we must serve everyone equally. And since the centers are open to everyone, we have to continue with the rules of social distancing and other guidelines that we have developed with the Department of Health will also remain in force, it is very important that we follow them ”.
The doctor. Dave Chokshi, City Health CommissionerHe also emphasized the growing numbers of vaccination among the elderly, ensuring that at least “72 percent have already received at least one dose, and a third of the elderly are already fully vaccinated at this point. And that is what is allowing us to take this remarkable step in our recovery process. “
But the City’s top doctor also issued a warning: “We have to remain vigilant, particularly indoors, where vaccinated and unvaccinated people will end up meeting and mingling with each other ”.
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Aging Margaret Chin He indicated that it is time “for the elderly to receive this great help they need.”
“A great majority of them are already vaccinated, and that is why more and more people call me asking when are we going to open the centers? So now we have to guarantee that we will give all the support and resources to these places so that they open in a safe way, ”insisted the councilor representing Manhattan.