WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Luzerne County officials say 17 Active Adult Centers will close on Monday due to COVID-19 safety concerns. The rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the county prompted the closure order by county officials and the area’s Agency on Aging. The centers are places where senior citizens can get meals and other services.
The Charles T. Adams Active Adult Center in Downtown Wilkes-Barre closed today and will not re-open until January 4. It is not good news for hundreds of seniors across the county. For them these centers are a lifeline to the community.
82-year-old Denise Zuarez from Wilkes-Barre could not believe that her home away from home, the Adams Active Adult Center, will be closed for the next month-and-a-half.
“I don’t like to stay home. When you say we close for January, we close, gee what am I going to do?”
Bridgette Perlowski from Hanover Township feels the same way.
“I don’t like it. I like coming here for lunch and talking to Denise. I like coming here for lunch and all you know but, what are you gonna do it’s the COVID-19, you know?”
But county officials say they had no other choice. Toni Mathis is the director of the center.
“I want the folks that come here to know that we will be checking up on you and that we care about you and if you have any questions you can give us a call and they are doing this for your safety as well as everyone else’s safety with the numbers going up. We knew it was going to happen.”
Mathis says she knows that many seniors who live on fixed incomes count on the lunches that are served at the centers. Those meals are still available.
“If they are an active member at the Active Adult Centers they can call us by Wednesday, noon, to let us know that they would like to order a frozen meal and they will receive seven meals for the entire week and they would pick them up on Monday at your local Active Adult Center.”
County officials say there will be someone at each of the 17 Active Adult Centers to answer the phone and help seniors during the closures that again last until January 4th.