• 64°

SAIL Center drive thru service begins today

Crowded around a stainless steel island, a group of four staffers at the SAIL Center prepare meals to be served to senior citizens.

Beginning today, the local center will be serving their meals via a drive through method to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The SAIL Center provides congregate meals, homebound meals, senior-friendly activities and health education.

SAIL Center Coordinator Charlotte Purvis said the center serves 77 meals per day, and will provide the drive through service from 11-11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

During a meeting with city officials Monday morning, Purvis said the center will be closed to the public beginning today until further notice.

“Our seniors are the high target,” she said. “We’re the ones targeted the most.”

Purvis said that the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission and the Alabama Department of Senior Citizens came to the conclusion that by not providing meals to senior participants is not an option.

“We will continue to serve,” Purvis said.

Purvis said during the meeting that the center is concerned about its homebound participants, and all others who may be challenge to do their regular grocery chopping.

“There are some in that category,” she said.

The center will not be closed to its paid staff as they continue to serve over the next couple of weeks, Purvis said.

“This option will get us through the next two weeks,” Purvis said. “After that, they’ll start sending us seven pack shelf staple meals.”

Purvis said the main reason these changes are in effect is to limit congregation of senior citizens. She encouraged those at the city meeting to check on their older loved ones.

“Try to help them,” she siad. “Go to the beyond of what you usually do. Keep them safe and stay at home. Give them a little extra attention that will keep them from getting out.”

For more information on the coronavirus, visit www.cdc.gov.