Whatever our new normal looks like, it will undoubtedly require changes to the way we live - at least for the next year. That's true for Senior Centers as well.
You'll need to re-think how to run programs, interact with members, provide congregate meals, perform consultations, and so much more. Each current process will be
modified with a goal of keeping staff and participants safe and to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus. Some of the changes will be temporary, while others
might be with us forever.
Even though reopening may be weeks or months in the future, it makes sense to start evaluating those processes now so you're ready to open the doors
when the time is right. In this issue we're presenting reopening ideas from across the Network, as well as our recommendations for how best to use MySeniorCenter
to modify registration, payment and check-in processes.
Welcome to...Fun Facts - the
Eye on Reopening
Thank you for the dozens of ideas shared via phone and email about what you're considering for changes to your program schedule and traffic layout.
The suggestions in the list below were lightly edited or combined with similar ideas for readability:
- Exterior signs explaining mask, cleanliness and distancing protocols
- Post on website and broadcast with Voice Connect to explain cleaning and covid-compliant changes
- Require masks for all participants at Center and on vans
- Have participants enter through one door and exit through another if possible, or directional arrows on the ground
- Remove chairs from dining room for more appropriate spacing or leave chairs and mark two of every three with a sign showing they can't be used
- Have multiple lunch times to reduce crowding
- Use tape or floor signs to indicate appropriate personal space for exercise classes like tai chi & yoga
- Host more activities outside/parking lot
- Reduce air conditioning and keep doors open for fresh air when possible
- Nightly cleaning/bleaching of lunch tables and bathrooms
- Use directional arrows in halls to reduce face-to-face contact
- Install an acrylic shield around the front desk to protect staff
- Eliminate cash transactions
- Use forehead thermometers to ensure people don't have a fever; deny entry to those who do
Modifying the event registration, payment and check-in processes will be critical to reducing crowds at the toucshcreen and front-desk areas.
The key steps to take are:
- Have as many people as possible register for their programs on MyActiveCenter; see the MyActiveCenter with Giddyup section on the left for assistance
- For participants without a computer, have them call the Center with their registration requests
- For fee-based programs, have registrants pay on MyActiveCenter with a credit card, or call and give their credit card information over the phone
- To process payments through MySeniorCenter/MyActiveCenter, register for a merchant account with our partner CardConnect; see the MyActiveCenter with Giddyup
section on the left for a link to get more information on processing credit cards
- If a person has pre-registered, they'll be able to swipe their card and enter the building without any delay at the screen
- For drop-in classes with no pre-registration, we recommend you have participants use hand santizer before and after interacting with the touchscreen
Questions from your participants about sanitizing the touchscreens will inevitably come up. After consulting with different computer manufacturers and an infectious disease specialist,
here's the scoop:
- Surfaces are not a primary
source for spreading the disease
- Clean the screen at the beginning or end of each day by placing a dab of hand sanitizer on a lint-free cloth and wiping horizontally from top to bottom (make sure the screen is off).
It's important that you put the dab on the cloth first because if it drips into the bottom of the screen, it'll kill the computer
- Have each person sanitize their hands before using the screen
- Have each person sanitize their hands after using the screen
- If you don't have access to hand sanitizer, you could purchase a mini stylus for each person to use instead of their finger, but you'll need one for each person who is going to
use the screen
Using hand sanitizer as soon as participants enter your Center has the added benefit of ensuring everyone has clean hands at least for a little while.
Each region of North America will have its own re-opening schedule and its own requirements. While we have seen some signs that Centers are
in a limited way, others are still in the planning phase. Whatever your schedule or requirements, make sure you stay in touch with us. We'll answer questions about the
screens or be a sounding board for process change ideas. We'll also continue to collect ideas and present them in future Fun Facts issues. If you have anything to add or would like to
chat about something, drop us a line.
Thanks for all that you do!