OTR Senior Center Remains Closed – For Now
The OTR Senior Center will remain closed until CASS has the resources to reopen it safely.
In late September, the Ohio Department of Health authorized senior centers to reopen. But CASS is not yet prepared to reopen our OTR Senior Center because of the significant challenges we face in meeting health requirements. We are studying what it would take for us to reopen the center safely.
“We wish circumstances were different,” said Tracey Collins, Chief Executive Officer of CASS. “We know how important the OTR Senior Center is to seniors. But it’s also important that we do our best to keep our clients and employees healthy.”
The state Health Department’s conditions for reopening senior centers are extensive, requiring additional staff and supplies and a substantial reduction in participants.
The requirements include:
- Ensuring that participants and employees maintain at least six feet of social distance, including while eating and standing in line for meals. Table and chairs must be placed so participants are separated by six feet. Signs, tape or other means must be used to mark the meal lines.
- Screening participants for health conditions by phone before each visit.
- Screening participants immediately before entering senior centers.
- Staggering arrival and departure times as well as mealtimes and other activities to reduce contact among participants and staff.
- Prioritizing participants best suited from a health standpoint to use the senior centers.
- Isolating participants who become sick and seeking medical care for them.
- Training staff on infection control.
Additionally, CASS would need to address transportation challenges. We transport most of our OTR Senior Center participants on our buses. For health safety, we’ve reduced capacity on those buses to five riders, so our drivers would have to make more trips.
Click here for more information about the OTR Senior Center.
Some CASS Meal Sites are Now Open
Some of our congregate meal locations have reopened or are scheduled to reopen. Please check our Congregate Meal web page for the latest status or call us at 513-721-4330.
CASS Buses Will Take Fewer Seniors to Grocery Stores
Cincinnati Area Senior Services is continuing to take seniors to grocery stores by bus, but we’ve reduced the number of passengers we can accommodate due to updated guidance from the Ohio Department of Health.
The Health Department has informed CASS that we need to enforce social distancing of at least six feet on our buses. That means we can only transport five seniors per trip.
We’re now strongly encouraging seniors to use our free bus services every other week, instead of every week. Seniors are required to wear masks on our buses as well as in stores.
The new passenger limit includes our Kroger Shuttle, which serves the Walnut Hills area. CASS runs a bus from the former Kroger location on Gilbert Avenue to the new Kroger store in Clifton. The free service, which is paid for by Kroger, runs in a continuous loop every Wednesday from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.
Our transportation services are designed for people age 60 and older who do not drive and have no other transportation resources available
We are exploring an additional option to help seniors get access to fresh food, specifically online shopping combined with home delivery. We’re working with a partner so that, when this service is available, seniors with access to a computer would be able order online and get home delivery. Seniors can call our transportation office at 513-721-4330 to let us know if they are interested.
We have temporarily discontinued our bus trips for social, cultural or recreational purposes, except for trips to Cincinnati Recreation Centers and Bayley Adult Day Center.
Click here for more information about our transportation services or call us at 513-721-4330.
CASS Needs Your Contributions Now
During the coronavirus pandemic, CASS is on the front lines in keeping older adults healthy. We’re the first responders for homebound seniors – and we need financial help now more than ever. Please consider an emergency investment in CASS to help us make it through this once-in-a-lifetime crisis. Please go to www.cassdelivers.org/support
How Seniors Can Request a Home-Delivered Meal
Seniors who are homebound or concerned about leaving their homes to shop for food can request home-delivered meals by calling the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio at 513-721-1025 and requesting “CASS meals.” All seniors are eligible for meals, but some might be charged a fee depending on their income.
CASS is doing no-contact deliveries for home-bound seniors who are COVID positive.
CASS is Looking Out for Seniors and Our Employees
Some other health safety steps we’re taking:
- Performing a daily health assessment on our employees and providing them with masks and gloves.
- Disinfecting our vehicles after each trip.
- Eliminating any requirements that put people at risk from being too close, such as asking seniors to sign for food deliveries.
- Communicating via online video conference tools with clients who use our Senior Care Coordination, Personal Financial Management and Building Coordinators programs.
For More Information:
If you need to speak to us for any reason, please call CASS at 513-721-4330 or send us an email using the Contact Form on our Contact page. We’re doing our best to keep up with the calls and emails.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided information about the Coronavirus here.
Page updated Oct. 16, 2020