Chicago senior centers prohibit group activities amid coronavirus pandemic

A transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as the 2019 novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the United States. Note the crown-like spikes on the outer edge of the virus, hence the term "coron (NIAID-RML)

In an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, senior centers in Chicago are prohibiting group activities until further notice.

The city’s six senior centers and 15 satellite buildings will remain open and continue to provide boxed meals to-go, but seniors won’t be able to eat in the centers, Department of Family and Support Services spokeswoman Quenjana Olayeni said in an emailed statement.

The changes went into effect Wednesday.

Older “adults appear to be twice as likely to contract serious COVID-19 illness, and therefore are encouraged to stay home as much as possible, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact with others and wash your hands often,” Olayeni said.

Seniors will still be able to visit the centers to get help with applying for public aid, and food pantries will stay open at the locations.

The city’s senior centers connect residents to social, recreational, economic, and educational resources. Activities include life-enrichment classes, special events and recreational activities.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Housing Authority announced it was canceling bingo, resident meetings and all other events in community spaces throughout its buildings until further notice to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.