ESSEX JUNCTION — After many long months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Essex Area Senior Center is now open five days a week.
The center celebrated the reopening of its Lincoln Street location with a welcome event on Sept. 3. Nicole Mone-St.Marthe, senior services program director, said the celebration was well-received and well-attended.
"Turnout was great," Mone-St.Marthe said. "There were a lot of new faces, so it's really exciting."
While the building was closed, EASC continued to organize and host senior programming at off-site locations that allowed for social distancing and air quality controls.
The center, Mone-St.Marthe stated in a June newsletter to members, did not provide adequate space to properly adhere to the social distancing and safety protocols set by the Vermont Department of Aging and the Department of Health.
Favorite events like bingo, May Jongg and bridge were instead held at Memorial Hall and Sand Hill Park.
As usual, the senior van took community members on "Friday Frolics" to places like Al's French Fries, Gardener's Supply and the Shelburne Country Store.
Though the last few months of programming have been wonderful, Mone-St.Marthe is happy to return to the place many seniors call a second home.
"We're excited to be back because we have the ability to do a lot more here in this space," she said.
Mone-St.Marthe is looking forward to offering more luncheons, some of which will be free thanks to a partnership with Age Well. Luncheons are open to members and non-members include soup and a sandwich or pizza.
The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and located at 2 Lincoln St.