Beacon Falls seniors ask town to reopen center


By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

BEACON FALLS — A group of senior citizens is looking to get back into the swing of things and use the Beacon Falls Senior Center again.

“We would like to get together at least a few days a week, if it’s possible, in the afternoon,” senior center President Bernadette Dionne told the Board of Selectmen during its April 12 meeting.

Dionne and seven other seniors inquired if the center could be reopened or hold its regular monthly meetings.

The senior center has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the state last March.

The town is slowly starting to reopen. Town Hall is open to the public by appointment and Beacon Falls Public Library is open on a limited basis.

Town boards and commissions started holding in-person meetings again this month, with many using the senior center.

First Selectman Gerard Smith told Dionne he spoke with Naugatuck Valley Health District Director of Health Jessica Kristy about the matter.

“I just want to double check with Valley Health, and as long as we get those OKs, we should be fine,” Smith said.

“That would be awesome,” Dionne said.

In an interview April 15, Smith said officials were still discussing it. He said the town will have to juggle some personnel so they can open the senior center while maintaining COVID-19 protocols, including cleaning and sanitizing in between users.

“We have the guidelines. Now we have to make sure we can make it work,” said Smith, adding he felt the town was a couple weeks away from partially reopening the center.

Dionne said at the meeting that members will not cook or serve food at the center for a while. The members want to get together at least a few days a week to conduct meetings and have bingo, she said.

“We’re going to do the face masks, the hand sanitizing, the washing. We’re going to go by all the guidelines that are out there for everybody,” Dionne said. “I’d say all of my seniors that are going to be attending the meetings have already had their two (vaccine) shots.”