As coronavirus cases spike in Cowley County, several area businesses and non-profits have scaled back in-person hours and services or have temporarily closed all together, while some residents are taking extra precautions for themselves to try and slow the spread of the illness.

The dining room at the Arkansas City Senior Center, where Friendship Meals are served, is closed indefinitely to the public, City of Arkansas City public information officer Andrew Lawson said in an email. Meal recipients will have to use either drive-thru service or home delivery. The dining room had been open on a very limited basis, but closed again due to the local COVID-19 situation, Lawson said.

Winfield Friendship Meals, located in the Community Center at Baden Square, has also closed its dining room to the public beginning on Nov. 16 in response to the local COVID-19 situation. Clients can either use curbside service from 10:30 to 11 a.m. or home delivery from 9 to 11 a.m. on days meals are served, according to manager Nita Henderson in a recorded message on the meal service’s phone line.

The Medical Loan Closet, at 501 Harter St. in Winfield, is closed until Dec. 2, coordinator Cheri Baer said. Baer said some of the volunteers are nervous about coming in, while others have had to quarantine due to possible exposure. 

The Closet loans durable medical equipment to people in need at no cost. Baer said the need for medical equipment had remained steady during the pandemic. The Closet serves clients in Elk, Chautauqua and Butler counties as well as Cowley County.

Thirsty Thursdays at the Burford in Ark City is canceled for at least the next three weeks, according to Lawson, the Ark City PIO. Lawson also said Monday that a number of public meetings in Ark City will be held virtually over the coming weeks.

Facebook pages for several local restaurants indicated no dining room closures or reduced hours due to an increase in cases. Representatives for restaurants contacted by the CourierTraveler said they are not aware of any closures.

Several CourierTraveler readers said they will take extra precautions as well, in response to a question posted on the newspaper’s Facebook page.

“Back to more awareness of what I have touched. Keeping hands clean sand surfaces wiped down,” Teresa Moore said.

“Still trying to stay home more, and watching church online,” Patty Howe said.

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