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Staff member at Farmington senior center possibly exposed to COVID-19

No evidence yet of transmission to clients
After a Bonnie Dallas Senior Center employee was exposed to the coronavirus, the Farmington Indian Center will take over the senior center meal program.

FARMINGTON – A staff member of the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center was possibly exposed to COVID-19, prompting the city of Farmington to reassign staff members to cover the center’s programs.

“Our seniors’ safety and well-being is of the utmost importance to us,” said Shana Reeves, director of the city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in a news release. “The senior meal program is essential for many area seniors, and we are committed to maintaining that service while also protecting their health.”

Employees from the Farmington Indian Center will be reassigned to the senior center to assist with the senior meal program, according to the city’s announcement. The Farmington Indian Center will be temporarily closed beginning Wednesday until further notice. The reassigned employees will handle meal preparation for the senior center.

Although the building has been closed since March 13, the center has continued to offer pick-up lunch for seniors in a drive-thru process and has continued delivering via Meals on Wheels.

The employee exposed to the virus is self-quarantining for 14 days and waiting coronavirus test results, according to the city.

The center is also following the guidelines of the New Mexico Department of Health and conducting contact tracing. The senior center has not found any exposure at this time.

In addition to general food safety precautions, the center is also disinfected multiple times a day, following state regulations.

The city’s cautionary reassignment of the employees comes as senior centers and long-term care facilities continue to be hot spots for the virus.

In the last 28 days, the state department of health has identified at least one positive coronavirus case in residents or staff at three long-term care and acute care facilities in Farmington: Beehive Homes, Life Care Center of Farmington and Namaste House Assisted Living.

lweber@durangoherald.com

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