The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is seeing many senior centres in the Cowichan Valley suspending programs and temporarily closing their doors.
Seniors are particularly vulnerable to serious complications from the virus.
Keith Falconer, president of the Chemainus Seniors Drop-In Centre, said most of the activities at the centre, including the popular bingo games, have been cancelled this week, but the centre will remain open until March 20 as a number of groups with meetings scheduled have asked that their meetings be held.
“There has certainly been a big drop in attendance since the COVID-19 crisis began,” Falconer said.
“We’re not sure when we’ll reopen, but when we do, we’ll send out emails throughout the senior community to let people know.”
As the numbers of those infected with COVID-19 continues to grow around the globe, with four deaths in B.C. as of March 16 and 103 infected, the dangers are greater for vulnerable populations, including seniors and those with underlying medical conditions.
The Lake Cowichan 50+ Activity Centre has also shut down for two weeks due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Centre spokesman Al Hall said the facility opened on March 16, but with so few people visiting the facility, the decision was made to shut its doors at least until the end of March.
“The shut down is a just a precaution until we see what develops with the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.
“Besides, there are staff here that have to be paid, so its uneconomical to stay open when nobody is at the centre.”
Hall said he can be reached at 250-732-2734 if an emergency develops involving the centre within the next two weeks.
A voice-mail message at the Valley Seniors Organization of Duncan said all programs during the day and after hours at the facility have also been suspended until April 1.
“We’ll provide an update on March 30,” the message concluded.
The Crofton Seniors Centre will also be closing as of Friday, March 20, and any programs or events planned will either be cancelled or rescheduled.
The centre will be closed indefinitely.