Seniors are back to in-person activities at the Basilio Huertas Senior Center in Bethlehem

Written by on September 9, 2021

Seniors are back to in-person activities at the Basilio Huertas Senior Center in Bethlehem

By Genesis Ortega

September 9, 2021

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Social isolation is something many older adults have to struggle with, especially during  the pandemic. 

Many senior centers have helped but the pandemic caused several to close their doors in order to protect this vulnerable population. 

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This includes the Basilio Huertas Senior Center located at the Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley in southside Bethlehem, where Victoria Montero is the executive director. She’s glad to welcome the seniors back. 

“It has been wonderful to have them back every day. They always come in with a smile,” she said. 

She and her staff aren’t the only ones happy for the center to be open again. She said the returning seniors couldn’t be happier.  

“It feels like our facility is alive, and the energy, the music, the food. The smell in that kitchen in the morning when we’re cooking breakfast then lunch,” she said. 

Not everything is back to business as usual. Because of the surge in delta variant cases the center follows strict rules: a vaccine and mask mandate, temperature checks and sanitation stations. 

This also means that on most days they’re only able to serve half as many seniors as before. 

Bethlehem resident Ramonita Garcia has been coming here for 20 years now and she’s glad to be back.

“We play dominoes. We play bingo. Also, we make activities. They treat us very nice,” Garcia said. 

The struggle again is to continue to keep the center open even as COVID-19 cases trend upwards across the state.

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