The Imperial County Area Agency on Aging (ICAAA) is committed to providing support and relief to one of the most vulnerable populations in the community, older adults age 60 or more, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and wellness of service participants, employees, and community are of utmost importance and continue to be ICAAA’s focus. They are working with local and state officials to provide the services necessary to keep seniors healthy while keeping the community informed, according to a press release.
The Imperial County Public Health Department is reporting, through its COVID-19 portal (http://www.icphd.org/health-information-and-resources/healthy-facts/covid-19/), 4,800 COVID-19 positive cases in Imperial County and 64 COVID-19 related deaths since March 2020. Of the total number of positive cases, 839 cases are currently active, according to the release.
It is important that all seniors continue to protect themselves by following public official guidelines:
- Sheltering at home, and only leave to perform essential tasks such as medical appointments and shopping for groceries
- Wear a face cover when performing essential tasks outside the home and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet apart from others
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
The release said if you have tested positive with COVID-19, suspect that you may be COVID-19 positive, or have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, please follow all quarantine orders and do not leave your home, unless it is to attend a doctor’s appointment. Isolation and Quarantine Blanket Orders can be found at the Imperial County Public Health Department website, www.icphd.org. If you need testing, either because you are showing symptoms or you have been identified as a direct contact of a positive case, please call your primary physician or call the following number to make an appointment to get tested: (888) 634-1123. If you have been identified as a direct contact, it is important to follow all quarantine orders until a negative test result is received.
In order to comply with federal, state, and local guidelines and reduce the risk to senior participants, ICAAA continues to keep the Senior Nutrition Congregate Sites closed for in-person dining until further notice. Many senior participants are currently receiving meal delivery to their homes through the Senior Nutrition Program. Due to the increase demand for the program, the ICAAA has contracted three restaurants to help with the meal preparation and delivery. Rosa’s Plane Food, Inc. is providing the service in Calexico; Brownie’s Diner, Inc. is providing the service in Brawley; ARC-Imperial Valley, is providing the service in El Centro, Imperial, Holtville, and Heber. Each restaurant has a different delivery schedule; please call Catholic Charities at (760) 353-2748 for additional information.
For seniors located in rural areas, Catholic Charities recently contracted with Mom’s Meals to deliver a two-week supply of meals directly to the participant’s home. Catholic Charities continues to prepare and deliver meals to Home Delivered Meal participants on the regular schedule.
The ICAAA’s goal is to make sure seniors receive one meal for each day of the week, which is essential to their health and well-being, while following the recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health officials in regards to COVID-19. If a senior, age 60 or more, is interested in signing up for this program, they should contact Catholic Charities, the Senior Nutrition Provider, at (760) 353-2748.
The Imperial County Area Agency on Aging is here to help and offers the Information and Assistance Call Center to connect seniors, age 60 and older, with services and resources needed. Resources such as relief bags, that include toilet paper and water, or information regarding cool centers can be requested by calling (442) 265-7033. Due to the influx of calls that ICAAA is currently experiencing, leave a clear message with your name and phone number. The Agency’s office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Friday.
The Imperial County Area Agency on Aging offers a variety of services for seniors throughout the Imperial Valley. These services include home delivered meals, respite care, legal advice, and much more. If you need additional information regarding any of the services provided by the agency or additional information on what is being done to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, contact the office by calling (442) 265-7033 or toll-free at 1-800-510-2020. You may also find additional information by visiting the website at www.aaa24.org. For companionship, please call Friendship Line California at (888) 670-1360 to connect with someone who can provide a friendly, listening ear today. The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the case of a crisis or additional stress related to the current situation, please contact the local Imperial County Behavioral Health Access line at (800) 817-5292 or (442) 265-1525.