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LAKE COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) — The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) on Tuesday announced its recommendation that senior centers should remain closed until January 1, 2021.

According to a press release, continued closures will “minimize risk, prevent morbidity and mortality, and allow the time necessary for centers to develop proper testing protocols and safety measures, train staff, and monitor the burden of COVID-19 on Lake County’s most at-risk residents.”

The release from LCGHD says limited appointment-only services at senior centers may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

LCGHD said several factors were considered in order to make this determination; that includes access to adequate COVID-19 testing for staff and participants; senior center staff training needs; local hospital census, case status in both Lake and surrounding counties in accordance with the Ohio Public Health Advisory System; and seasonal flu immunizations and projections. The health district also cites the CDC which says “the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases as people grow older, and includes people of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled.”

According to LCGHD, it will work with senior center directors and staff to develop a plan for a safe re-opening of their facilities.

At the end of August, Ohio’s health director signed an order to open adult day care facilities and senior centers, which had remained closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The order stated the centers could open on Sept. 21 with reduced capacity and social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

Related video, below: Indoor visits permitted at Ohio nursing homes starting Oct. 12

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