Seniors served at regional senior centers by Aging Best, formerly known as Central Missouri Area Agency on Agency, will have fewer programs available through at least March 31 due to concerns relating to coronavirus.
Affected programs include all activities held at senior centers in the region. This include meals and other activities. The homebound meal program will expand and senior centers will temporarily offer curbside meals during the lunch hour to continue serving those in need, according to a news release.
The Mexico Senior Center and Boonslick Senior Center are affected by these changes.
Those who need assistance with meals, access to food or transportation, caregiver support, or a list of available resources for other aging related needs, call Aging Best at 1-800-369-5211.
Other counties affected the the temporary closures are Boone County, Callaway County, Camden County, Cole County, Dent County, Gasconade County, Howard County, Laclede Countyu, Maries County, Miller County, Moniteau County, Morgan County, Phelps County, Pulaski County and Washington County.
Aging Best also is working to combat senior social isolation or fear, according to a news release. The agency is asking for donations of non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, hygiene supplies, games, books, magazines, crossword puzzles, yarn for knitting and crocheting and other activities.
Donations will be accepted at Aging Best administrative offices at 1121 Business Loop 70 E., Suite 2A, in Columbia, or 1616 Southridge Drive, Suite 203, in Jefferson City.
Senior citizens are at a higher risk for contracting coronavirus or COVID-19. Others at risk include those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease.
Gov. Mike Parson said Sunday that his administration is strongly encouraging the cancellation or suspension of public events with more than 50 people following federal health officials’ recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control recommended that all public gatherings of that size or larger be canceled for eight weeks. There are six positive coronavirus cases in Missouri, and the number of confirmed cases in the U.S., as tracked by Johns Hopkins University, increased Monday to 4,287 by 4 p.m.
There have been 74 deaths blamed on COVID-19 in the U.S.
There were more than 181,000 cases worldwide as of Monday morning evening, with deaths worldwide more than 7,100.
Missouri has completed testing on 170 samples with 164 negative, Parson said.
There are three positive tests in Greene County, two others in St. Louis County and one from Henry County.
The incubation period for the virus can last between about two and 14 days, meaning that a person can spread it without showing any symptoms, according to the CDC. Anyone with concerns about exposure to the virus should call 1-877-435-8411, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service’s COVID-19 hotline.
Rudi Keller of The Columbia Daily Tribune and Erik Cliburn of Moberly Monitor-Index contributed to this report.