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Baltimore City Suspends Certain Senior Services, Cancels Large City Events Through March 31

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Emily Sullivan/WYPR
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Baltimore Mayor Jack Young has suspended some services at of the city’s senior centers and issued recommendations that include cancelling large events through the end of March.

As of Thursday afternoon, Baltimore had no known cases of the novel coronavirus.
 
The recommendations came shortly after Gov. Larry Hogan announced the first of non-travel
related coronavirus in Maryland on Thursday. 
 

“While we have yet to have a positive test result in Baltimore, today's news indicates the reality
is not far away,” Mayor Young said at a Thursday news conference. “We understand that these
recommendations will have a major impact on our residents and anyone who visits our city, but
they were made after careful consideration and in consultation with our health care
professionals.”
 
Senior centers will temporarily cancel programming such as special events, class activities and
trips. They will continue to provide boxed meals for elderly patrons to take home. 
 
Around 10,000 Baltimoreans use senior center services. There are city-operated centers and six
nonprofit, private centers that will follow the city’s lead. 
 
“The centers' staff will still be available if people need them in terms of resources or to order
supplies,” said Heang Kim Tan, the Deputy Commissioner of Baltimore’s Aging and Care Services.
 
Tan said that boxed meals can be delivered to elderly residents if they can’t pick them up at the
centers. Those interested can call the Maryland Access Point at 410-396-2273 to see if they
qualify for the home-delivered meal program. 
 
All city events of 250 people or more have been cancelled through March 31. The Young administration recommends that any event host maintains a guest list, in order to help health officials track people down in case any attendant later tests positive for the virus.

 

Sheryl Goldstein, Young’s deputy chief of staff and operations, said the administration weighed

its recommendations very seriously. 
 
“I think we're being very proactive in our recommendation,” she said. “It's a difficult balance to 
strike.”