Coronoavirus

The dining room at Meals on Wheels Victoria will close effective Tuesday, the nonprofit said in a news release.

The nonprofit’s meal delivery service to homebound individuals will continue uninterrupted.

Nonprofits, businesses and groups throughout the country have decided to cancel or postpone in-person events because they can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus, is believed to primarily spread from person to person, according to experts. Federal officials said they expect many people in the U.S. to be exposed to the virus at some point this year or next, but said they do not expect most people to develop serious illness. Older adults and those with long-term health conditions are at greater risk of developing serious illnesses or complications, according to the CDC.

The decision was made in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends that people age 65 and older avoid gatherings of 10 or more people. On Sunday, the CDC issued updated guidance recommending that gatherings of 50 or more people, of any age group, be canceled by organizers for the next 8 weeks.

Registered clients who would normally eat at the center can pick up their meal to go via curbside pickup as long as they make a reservation at least one day in advance. To make a reservation, clients should call 361-576-2189. Those clients might also be eligible for home-delivered meals and should call Meals on Wheels Victoria to find out if they are eligible.

“Our clients health and well-being are our utmost concern,” Dan Williams-Capone, the executive director of Meals on Wheels Victoria, said in a statement. “We are making these changes to our senior center program out of an abundance of caution.”

The agency is following guidelines from the CDC and the Texas State Health Services for sanitation and safe delivery practices, and contingency plans have been put in place to ensure agency capacity in light of any supply-chain or staff or volunteer disruption, according to the release.

“We want to reassure all of our homebound clients, that no interruption to their meal service is anticipated,” Williams-Capone said.

He noted that the nonprofit could always use additional volunteers to help with delivery, and those who are interested in helping should contact Diana Alarcon at Meals on Wheels Victoria.

“This is a fluid situation,” Williams-Capone said. “Our goal is to ensure the vulnerable seniors we serve get the support and services they need.”

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at cmccarthy@vicad.com or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to VictoriaAdvocate.com/report.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. She reports on insurance, the cost of health care, local hospitals, and more. Questions, tips, or ideas? Contact: cmccarthy@vicad.com or call 361-580-6597.

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