Local senior centers reopening after a year of being closed


JOPLIN, Mo. – The Area Agency on Aging Region X (AAAX)  announced plans for a soft opening of all seven of its senior centers on May 3. That includes the centers in Barton County, Carthage, Webb City, Carl Junction, Joplin, Neosho and McDonald County.

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“After being closed for more than a year, we have started to see a continued decline in COVID-19 cases,” said AAAX CEO Jennifer Shotwell. “In addition, more and more residents are being vaccinated as vaccination clinics pop up across our four counties. I feel confident that we can safely open the centers with minimal restrictions.”

Each center will have activities on specific days of the week. Monday and Friday have been designated for clients to play pool. Tuesday and Thursday have been designated for bingo and lunch service. Wednesday has been designated for cards/games and exercise classes. Officials ask clients call ahead to sign up for all activities, except for pool. However, pool tournaments will not be held at this time. Officials say that may change in the future.

All clients entering the senior center will be asked to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing in order to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Volunteers will be asked to oversee the activities and to help maintain cleanliness by washing any tables or chairs that are used for activities. Volunteers will also resume delivering to Meals on Wheels recipients at all centers.

The Area Agency expects to bring more activities back as COVID-19 cases continue to decline.