The room at Boone County Senior Services is filled, or at least at socially distanced capacity.
“We’ve really been encouraged by people wanting to get back into action and be with us,” BCSSI Executive Director Anita Bowen said. “We’re requiring people to still wear masks, unless they’re eating.”
Art classes, Lunch and Learn, exercise classes – it’s all coming back for the group at the facility in Lebanon and the American Legion in Zionsville, where the town hall is closed for renovations.
Other COVID protocols include only three people can sit at a six-top table. Twelve tables limit the number of participants to 36, Bowen said.
“That’s way under the capacity we could have,” she added. “We could have 93 people in that room, but we want to be safe and extremely cautious.”
Even though the estimated 75% of seniors who come to the center have been vaccinated, Bowen said, the masks and social distancing will continue for now.
“It’s not our place to monitor their individual situation,” she said. “We will still ask them to follow our protocols.”
Tomorrow, the Zionsville Lunch and Learn will host the largest crowd there in more than a year. Reservations are required and more important than ever, Bowen said.
Other events are returning to the community including Whitestown’s fourth annual Viking Fest April 23-25 at Anson Park. Lebanon is hosting its Savor Lebanon beer tasting event around the downtown square on May 1.
Bowen said the health department has approved the plan for the Senior Olympics in August.
Claire Haughton with the Boone County Health Department said plans must be submitted for more than 250 attendees.
“The Indiana Department of Health continues to designate us as a blue county,” Haughton said. “Boone County is following Gov. Holcomb’s guidance in moving our mask mandate to an advisory.”
The mask advisory means it is up to businesses to enforce their own COVID-19 mitigation policies, such as a mask requirement. Many businesses and county offices are requiring masks. These businesses have the right to ask you to leave their establishment, Major Brian Stevenson with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office said. Individuals who refuse to leave could be arrested for trespassing.
“(Also) if you have been given a trespass warning by the business with the assistance of law enforcement, and then you go back to that establishment, you are subject to being charged with trespassing, as well,” Stevenson said. “To be honest, I don’t believe we will see very much of that.”
With the weather improving and the number of vaccinations increasing, Bowen said getting back to activities is important to the population they serve.
“We’re being cautious, but we’re very optimistic,” she added.