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Copper Country Senior Meals closed this week

Rising COVID-19 cases are starting to affect staffing levels locally, including area nonprofits. Copper Country Senior Meals will be closed through Friday due to community spread and positives that are impacting the organization’s administrative ranks and immediate families.

Recent guidance changes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that vaccinated individuals who have mild or no symptoms can quarantine for only five days, rather than the 10 previously suggested. The same guidance pertains to those who have been exposed to the virus through a close contact.

The organization was open on Monday and took necessary steps to ensure enough food was delivered for a full week. Copper Country Senior Meals says that if it is eaten in the coming days the food will last without spoiling, even if kept in a refrigerator.

Home testing kits are becoming increasingly popular. The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department’s official guidance suggests treating a positive as a potential case, with a quarantine period similar to an official laboratory confirmation. Chief Health Officer Kate Beer says, “Home tests are a great tool for early detection and prevention of further spread, however, their results cannot be verified, meaning that positives are only considered to be suspect cases and are not included in total case counts.” She adds, “Home tests cannot be used to document cases for return to work letters; a follow up lab test is recommended if you need such documentation. Due to resource shortages, the WUPHD is not currently asking residents to report positive home tests to the agency. All residents should take precautions by staying home if you are not feeling well, masking in public or crowded spaces, follow quarantine guidelines, and getting vaccinated or your booster dose. Vaccinations continue to be our best defense to reduce the severity of symptoms, prevent hospitalizations, and death.”

The full release from Copper Country Senior Meals is below.

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Copper Country Senior Meals will be temporarily closed Tuesday, January 18 through Friday, January 21, 2022, due to an increasing number of positive Covid cases throughout the community and with some of the administrative staff and/or their family members.

“We are doing all we can to remain safe while serving seniors and keeping them safe as well,” Executive Director Kathleen Harter said. “While we are temporarily closed, we did provide all seniors with a hot meal on Monday and enough frozen meals to get through the week.”

Seniors without freezer space for the additional meals can put them in their refrigerator and eat them throughout this week. Seniors who regularly attend Lakeview, Keweenaw Pines and the Calumet Congregate Sites also received a hot, home-delivered meal on Monday and frozen meals for the rest of the week. The Chassell Congregate Site was closed Monday and will be closed again on Wednesday, January 19.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you understand our efforts to get back to normal as quickly as possible,” Harter said. “This decision was not made lightly, but we feel it is a necessary step to pause operations and give our staff a chance to regroup, rest and get healthy.”

Normal operations will resume on Monday, January 24, 2022. Learn more about Senior Meals, including how a senior can sign up to receive meals, by visiting coppercountryseniormeals.org.

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