The Park Rapids Senior Center closed Oct. 11 and will remain closed for the rest of the month in what Connie Carmichael, who is a board member at the senior center, called “an abundance of caution and in an effort to keep the seniors in our community as safe as possible due to the increasing transmission of COVID cases in our community.”

“We will re-evaluate for November,” she said.

No activities will be held at the senior center. This includes Senior Coffee on Mondays sponsored by Living at Home of the Park Rapids Area (LAH) and all card groups throughout the week.

Carmichael said she monitors the COVID caseload at the Minnesota Department of Health weekly (MDH).

“We know of several seniors in the area, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, that have tested positive,” she said. “We hear about these cases from word of mouth and know that there have been some breakthrough cases. We know that there are people in the community in many different capacities for many different organizations who are volunteering and just living their lives, as they should be, who are testing positive. We just felt that, at this moment in time, it was in the best interest of the seniors that we serve at the senior center to close.”

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The senior center notified members of the closure on the senior center and LAH websites and on Facebook, and posted a “closed” sign on the door.

Carmichael said LAH programs services are continuing as normal. She is LAH’s executive director.

“All of our volunteers are required to wear masks when they’re with clients,” she said. “Most of our volunteers and most of our clients are vaccinated.”

She said many of the seniors they serve have received their third (booster) dose.

According to the MDH website dashboard on Oct. 11, 80.3 percent of Hubbard County seniors are fully vaccinated compared with 94.2 percent in the state.

“That still leaves about 20 percent of seniors in Hubbard County that are unvaccinated for many different reasons, so people still have to be careful,” Carmichael said.