Patrons come from as far away as Racine, Kenosha and Lake Geneva.
But when the COVID pandemic hit last year – with seniors particularly vulnerable – operators in downtown Burlington knew they had to shut down to avoid spreading the contagious virus.
As of Tuesday, more than 20,000 people in Racine County tested positive for the coronavirus and 336 died from it, state data showed.
Nationally, more than 80% of COVID-19-related deaths have occurred in people aged 65 and older.
Volunteers Sandy Schimek, left, and Beverly Scott, both of the English Settlement United Methodist Church, host a bingo game Tuesday at the new râ¦
Activity coordinator Dorothy Henning recalls the difficult decision to close the senior center, knowing it would leave seniors feeling cut off from the world.
âIt just came to a screeching halt,â Henning said. “I think everyone felt lonely.”
The center closed its doors on March 13, 2020.
Open, but with security measures
Authorities decided to reopen on Tuesday after finding seniors getting vaccinated against COVID-19 – 74.9% of Racine County’s population 65 and over have received at least one injection so far – And that the pandemic appears to be slowing, with case rates (although they have increased slightly over the past two weeks) below their fall through winter level.