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After more than 400 days, Howard County will once again welcome guests into their age 50 and up centers.
- Well, last week, Governor Hogan gave the green light for senior centers to reopen.
- And tonight, Howard County has announced when they will welcome back in-person visitors to their centers.
- WJZ is live tonight in Ellicott City. Sean Streicher has much more on the big announcement today by the county. Hey, Sean.
SEAN STREICHER: What's going on, guys? Well, Howard County shut down their centers more than 400 days ago. Now, these are for residents 50 and older, but come Friday, they will once again be open.
Brenda Colwell is one of the first to use the newly renovated gym at the Bain 50-plus Center in Columbia.
BRENDA COLWELL: I love the fitness center. I was surprised because I didn't think they had this much space.
SEAN STREICHER: Come April 30, all 6 Howard County 50-plus centers will reopen for in-person services, something they haven't been able to do since March of 2020.
BRENDA COLWELL: Virtual is fantastic, but nothing beats actually talking to somebody.
SEAN STREICHER: The announcement comes just five days after Governor Hogan signed an executive order allowing senior centers to reopen.
CALVIN BALL: We can break down the barriers of social isolation and help our older adults get back to being even more connected.
SEAN STREICHER: Howard County executive Dr. Calvin Ball says with 99% of county residents aged 75 and older having received at least one dose of the vaccine, he feels comfortable moving forward with the reopening process.
CALVIN BALL: We now have a positivity rate that's below 5%. I think now's the time to start reopening.
SEAN STREICHER: When the centers open, they will do so with limited programming at 50% capacity and with reservations being required.
ATHENA DALRYMPLE: Make your appointments for whatever you want to do to come here and get a good workout for your mind, body and soul.
SEAN STREICHER: They will continue offering virtual services for those not comfortable returning to the centers in-person.
Now, we're also learning tonight Harford County and Arundel County plan to start reopening their senior activity centers on Monday, May 3. Reporting live tonight in Ellicott City, I'm Sean Streicher, for WJZ.