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May 26, 2020

3/21/2020 7:25:00 AM
Vilas and Oneida counties continue to provide crucial meal delivery services
Kayla Houp
Of the Lakeland Times

As of Thursday, March 19, the Vilas County Aging and Disability Resource Center has closed all Senior Meal Congregate Dining Site locations throughout Vilas County until further notice amid the evolving situation with the novel coronavirus in Wisconsin.

The Vilas County ADRC has been working with Vilas County Public Health to discuss the safety of the community, according to a press release issued by Vilas County ADRC director Sue Richmond.

Despite the closure of the dining site locations, Richmond said the Vilas County ADRC would continue to provide its home meal delivery service with extra precautions and modifications to how drivers interact with customers.

In addition to suspending its dining sites, the Vilas County ADRC has also suspended its volunteer transportation program until further notice and is asking clients to phone the office for alternative transportation offices. The ADRC is asking clients to phone the office to determine whether an in-person visit is necessary or if the situation can be handled over the phone.

"We're trying to contain this as much as possible and are asking people to please stay home, as much as possible," Richmond said.

She stated the ADRC was following the recommendations of the public health department by limiting gatherings of more than 10 people and maintaining social distancing.

"Our seniors that needs that socialization are not going to be getting that right now. Isolations are going to be a big problem because they're telling people not to go out in public," Richmond said.

Richmond added site managers have been asked to make telephone contact once a week with dining site clients to check on them.

Richmond said, adding additional precautions, such as meeting the client at the door rather than entering their home, would be taken with the ADRC's home delivery service to protect both the driver and the client.

"We just want to follow the recommendations and try to best contain it so that it doesn't spread in our area as it is in other areas where they're seeing cases," she said.

The Oneida County ADRC has also suspended service for all of its dining sites effective Friday.

"I talked to public health this morning and they're recommending that we close all of our nutrition sites for on-site dining," Oneida County ADRC interim director Joel Gottsacker told The Lakeland Times Wednesday morning.

According to Gottsacker, Woodruff's on-site dining site had closed the day prior.

"We will all continue to do home-delivered meals," Gottsacker said. "And any on-site diner who would like to reserve a meal for pick-up can do so."

In addition to suspending all on-site dining, the Oneida County ADRC has also suspended all activities on-site.

"We're going to continue to provide services at the highest level that we can," Gottsacker said.

Kayla Houp may be reached via email at kaylah@lakelandtimes.com.





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