FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio — The Fairview Park Senior Center last week successfully restarted its transportation services — which have been canceled since the spring due to COVID-19 — taking seniors to medical appointments and grocery stores.
“It’s going really well even though it started slow and isn’t as busy as it used to be,” Fairview Park Senior Center Interim Senior Life Director Laura Brondos said. “So far, we’ve had no issues with our one-rider-per-vehicle policy.”
The Fairview Park Senior Center transportation policy requires seniors confirm with their physician that an in-person visit is required versus a telemedicine appointment. Riders, who must wear masks, are required to make an appointment in advance by calling 440-356-4439.
The shopping schedules for vans/cars include going to Marc’s on Monday, Giant Eagle on Tuesday and Aldi on Wednesday. Each requires a $4 round-trip fare.
However, trips outside of the city range from $6 to $12 round trip with additional stops $2. The farthest the city’s vehicles will travel is to the Avon Cleveland Clinic.
“My concern is for the senior’s safety,” Brondos said. “That’s why we’re only transporting one rider at a time in the vehicles and making sure to sanitize in between each passenger.”
Currently the city has three drivers with two scheduled daily taking upwards of four riders. That works out to 40 rides a week in the senior center’s sedan, small van and large van. The latter is for wheelchair use.
“So far the drivers ended up having three riders a day,” Brondos said. “We could do eight a day at most, but we haven’t got there yet. However, I did receive a lot more rides for (this) week.
“We’re not ready to move into the multiple riders at the same time phase. We’re going to just see how it goes with one rider for now. By the end of the year, we’re going to reevaluate everything and see if we need to make changes.”
As far as the reopening of the Lorain Road facility, seniors will experience a different environment.
The Fairview Park Senior Center will implement strict guidelines that adhere to COVID-related safety protocols. Face coverings will be mandatory while inside the building with six-foot social distancing observed.
Participation in limited non-contact activities such as lectures, exercise and movies are capped at 10 people or less. Entrance to the senior center is limited by appointment or activity pre-registration. Walk-ups will not enter the facility.
“We’re currently working on announcing a date,” Brondos said. “It could possibly be in October, I just don’t know yet.
“Right now, we hope seniors feel safe and comfortable using the van service with the safety protocols that we’ve put in place. We really look forward to seeing them back at the senior center when we open.”
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