COVID-19 vaccine helps Active Generations restart some activities
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is allowing some, especially to those in the elderly population, to get back to the activities they once enjoyed.
As those 65 and older continue to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Active Generations in Sioux Falls is slowly starting to bring back some of their programming.
Throughout the first six months of the pandemic, Active Generations shut some programming down.
“We’re starting to see some of those things come back, especially now that the weather’s changed a little bit which has been awesome, but more importantly people are having trust in the vaccine,” Active Generations CEO Gerald Beninga said.
Even with some activities restarting, it’s not back to normal yet.
“It’s still very slow in here, there’s not a lot of people. It used to be packed all the time in the exercise room and in here playing pool,” said Active Generations member Dave Cecil.
Beninga says they are currently operating at about 40%-50% and adds the pandemic has been especially difficult on the older population.
“One of the things that we’re seeing as a significant thing, and conversation about, is people are feeling a little, I’d say depression from being locked-up literally for over a year almost,” Beninga said.
Beninga says the vaccine is now allowing staff to start planning more programming for the near future, and it’s making members more comfortable.
“Now that they can still be socially distant with six feet, wear a mask and get out and do things, it’s a life changing event.” Beninga added, “I do think that you can feel the difference, that people really feel that we’re over the hill with this whole pandemic. It’s literally about getting out and being able to celebrate life again.”
Active Generations said they’re hoping by this summer they’ll be able to bring back nearly 100% of their original programming with a few safety measures in place.
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