So many times over the last year, I have started to write a “Welcome Back” column.  And each time, the situation changed and I wasn’t able to send that message out.  As of this writing, I am excited to say it’s time to start welcoming our people back to indoor programming! (Fingers crossed nothing changes!)

I feel like a little kid at Christmas – so excited, yet nervous.  I wake up at night and start thinking about what this means and what it will look like.  Sarah and I have had too many “reopening conversations” to count.  Here’s what I do know:  We have worked for over a year to do everything within our power to keep you safe.  We have tried to keep you smiling, keep your brains working, keep you connected to us, keep you exercising, and keep you feeling like we’re all in this together.  As difficult as it was to have the building closed, we knew it was our best option in keeping our people healthy.

That priority has not changed.

Yes, we will be opening, but things will not be the same as BC (Before Covid).  It will still take some time for us to get back to that point.  I encourage you to read more about our reopening plan below and understand that our main priority is YOU.  Thank you again for all of the love and support.  Hope to see you soon!

PHASE 1 REOPENING

As we reopen, I believe it’s important to clearly communicate what our goals, plans, priorities, and expectations are so that there is an opportunity for everyone to understand why we are doing what we are doing.  As I said before, our main priority is YOU – keeping you safe and offering the widest variety of programs possible.   That being said, it is important for everyone to understand that things will look very different AC (After Covid) than they did BC (Before Covid).

We will be following CDC, State, County and City guidelines for gathering in an indoor public space. As of this printing, the CDC Guidelines for public buildings are as follows:

  • Stay at least 6 feet from people you don’t live with (“social distancing”) at all times.
  • Wear your mask correctly and consistently.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Please keep us safe too!

Some things you may notice:

  • Masks will be required.
  • In Phase 1, the Center will be open for specific programs by reservation only. This phase does not include “drop in” visits (no newspaper reading, puzzle making, etc.).  We will continue to make appointments for “drive up” services as much as possible.
  • Program capacities have been determined using the square footage of a room and the CDC’s recommended spacing between unrelated people.
  • Some of our smaller spaces will not be used initially because there isn’t the square footage to have people gather safely.
  • Some spaces are being used to store extra furniture and items so that we aren’t losing square footage due to tables/chairs being lined up against the walls.
  • Groups that were meeting BC may be meeting in different spaces in order to accommodate social distancing. Rooms for programs may change as guidelines change.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building.
  • We are being realistic about the different protocols that are in place and the additional cleaning/sanitizing that is going to be needed when a program is completed, so all programs will adhere to times as scheduled and will end by 3:00 p.m.
  • Tables, chairs, door handles, and other common touchpoints will be cleaned regularly.
  • Groups where social distancing is not possible will be considered for later phases.
  • We will continue to do outdoor, virtual and drive up programs! We understand that people want to visit with each other!  We encourage you to attend our outdoor programs for opportunities to gather and visit during Phase 1.

How is the reservation process going to work?

 Reservations will be required in order to participate in activities as space is limited. Each individual must call and reserve their own spot, i.e. you can’t reserve spots for you and your friends.  The only exception is for people residing in the same household – one person from the household may call.

  • Reservations will be first come first serve and can be made by calling (920) 322-3630. Please leave a message with your name, phone number, and the program you wish to attend if your call is not answered.
  • Depending on the demand for programs, we may need to limit the number of events an individual can attend during any given week or month to give everyone equal opportunity.
  • PLEASE CANCEL YOUR RESERVATION IF YOU DO NOT PLAN TO ATTEND
  • Due to limited space, people who make a reservation and do not show up (No call no show) will be canceled from any other reservations and will not be eligible to sign up for programs for 30 days. Again, PLEASE CANCEL YOUR RESERVATION IF YOU DO NOT PLAN TO ATTEND.
  • If necessary, waiting lists will be created for programs that have reached capacity. People on the waiting list will be contacted if at all possible when we receive a cancelation.
  • To minimize gathering and waiting lines, program reservations will not be taken inside the Center. Call our main number for reservations (920) 322-3630.

Entering the Center:

  • All participants will enter the main front doors on the southwest side of the building (the doors by the front desk). Please park in the front parking lot as the main door will be the only door that is unlocked.
  • Upon entering, participants will check in to verify that they are on the reservation list for the program they are here to attend.
  • At check-in, participants will be informed of the location of their program and are asked to proceed directly to that room. In order to expedite check in and minimize lines and waiting times, additional reservations will not be taken in person.
  • Participants will exit the front door on the southeast side of the building as soon as their program or activity is finished. We ask that during Phase 1, all visiting after events be done outside of the building.

Odds & Ends:

  • Courtesy, respect, and kindness are the key to a successful reopening. We appreciate that there are many differing opinions surrounding Covid-19.  We are not here to argue about the decisions that have been made, whether the virus is real, whether the vaccine is good or bad, or how many people have or have not been vaccinated.  Our priority is bringing people back to indoor programming as safely and responsibly as we can as we follow the guidelines we are given.  By entering our Center, you are accepting our Code of Conduct and agreeing to abide by it.  As before, it is posted by our entrances.  We are hopeful we will not have to address any issues that violate that Code.
  • Individuals may bring in a water bottle however no food is allowed at this time
  • No personal property may be left in the Center. Any items remaining after a program will be donated or discarded.
  • Activities will adhere to scheduled times. All programs must end by 3:00 p.m. in order to give us time to clean and sanitize.
  • We will continually be reviewing CDC, State, County and City guidelines and making adjustments as necessary.
  • When we open, it will only be me and Sarah working here. We ask your cooperation and understanding, and ask you to respect the procedures and rules to help make things run smoothly.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. You can reach me at (920) 322-3632.

Cathy