Require Vaccination to Enter Edgemont House and Protect Seniors (Letter to the Editor)

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LifeLong Montclair programs that have kept older residents engaged and connected have been a bright spot during the pandemic. Whether it’s classes at the Montclair Institute of LifeLong Learning (MILL) or activities at Edgemont Field House, we’ve learned new skills, joined fitness classes and made new friends. We applaud the township and community partners’ commitment to continue to offer such high standard courses.

With the onset of cold weather, many courses and programs will continue to be offered at a distance. However, there are clubs for seniors who want to play cards, do crafts, or exercise, which will be held at Edgemont Park House. The township said it would not require proof of vaccination for any participants, although older residents are, as a group, the most vulnerable to the virus. Instead, the workaround to avoid adopting a sensible policy will be transferred to the participant – every senior can question their immunization status.

It is not a good practice in times of public health problems. We strongly urge the township to adopt the same kind of practices that many places of worship, businesses and restaurants in our community have for entry – that all participants must show that they are fully immunized. Older Montclair residents shouldn’t have to forgo enrichment activities and social engagement due to a flawed privacy policy.

Susan Craig and Louella Dudley
Co-Chairs, Montclair Seniors Advisory Committee

Editor’s note: Township communications director Katya Wowk, when asked to clarify the policy outlined by the authors of this letter, said the township requires proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test for municipal workers , but “cannot ask visitors [to township facilities] present vaccination records or proof of a negative test. The township, however, requires visitors to wear face masks and follow social distancing protocols.

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