Seniors in one parish face coronavirus fears

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ST. MARTIN PARISH, La. (KLFY) Health officials say seniors 65 and over are among the high risk population when it comes to the coronavirus.

Peggy Guidry comes to the St. Martin Parish Council on Aging.

The center held its last activities Tuesday before temporarily closing its doors to in-house activities due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Guidry says the center is the one place she can visit and spend time with other people.


“It’s sad. You won’t know unless you’re in our shoes of someone left alone,” Guidry said.

Executive Director Shanese Lewis says currently her center has 22 people on staff. She says it pains her to have downsize to about half.


“We’re having to send staff home. Our employees don’t make much to begin with. They will actually be on unpaid leave,” Lewis explained.

Another downside to the temporary closure for Lewis is what could happen to the seniors.

Lewis says they’ll still get their meals-on-wheels, transportation and calls from on duty staff but they’ll lose having contact with others they’ve come to be comfortable with.

She fears many will go into isolation and stay there.

“Because they don’t have family members near and they don’t have friends near. That’s another way it’s going to hurt. Not just us but our seniors,” Lewis noted.

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