O’Neil Center and Belpre Senior Center offer in-person programs


MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) – As organizations continue to cautiously reopen, the O’Neil Center and Belpre Senior Center are starting to offer in-person programs for local seniors, with some COVID-19 requirements still in place.

Both centers have started welcoming seniors to activities such as popular bingo gatherings, Tai Chi, yoga, massage appointments, crafts, book clubs, Bible study, knitting and crochet club, wheelchair travel programs, movies, trivia and more. Those wishing to attend are asked to register in advance by calling (740) 373-3914.

Trips are currently being organized but plans are not yet finalized. Those interested in participating in one of the trips are asked to call Nancy Matheny at (740) 373-3914.

A “Welcome Back” celebration will take place at the Belpre Senior Center on June 3 at 11 am. Special guests will be Mayor Michael Lorentz and Belpre football coach Jimmie Bell. Those interested are asked to register by calling (740) 423-6022.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome the elderly again in person in Marietta and Belpré. The lack of socialization during the pandemic has been a real concern and the return to our programs and activities is something we have been looking forward to for a long time. Although we have not yet reached their full capacity, we are moving in the right direction. We appreciate everyone’s patience with our guidelines as we strive to keep everyone healthy, ”said Erin O’Neill, Development Coordinator at the O’Neill Center.

This re-implementation of activities marks phase 4 of the plan to reopen the centers, during which many activities resume but not at full capacity. Despite Governor Mike DeWine’s removal of all health orders on June 2 in Ohio, health orders remain in effect for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other health care facilities serving people seniors, which currently include the O’Neill Center and the Belpre Senior Center. Masks and social distancing measures are still necessary regardless of vaccine status for anyone who enters either facility, and attendance at events is limited to 20 people, although this marks an increase compared to recent directives. All employees will continue to perform a self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, loss or taste or smell or shortness of breath. Employees are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines regarding vaccinations and all other precautions. In addition, employees must adhere to national and local restrictions.

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