TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Citing the rise in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, the Baltimore County Department of Aging will halt in-person activities at 20 senior centers starting on Jan. 10, the agency announced Thursday.

In-person programming will be discontinued until Jan. 28. The agency said it will try to offer virtual options where possible.

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“We had really hoped that we would not have to close the centers again to in-person activities,” said Laura D. Riley, director of the Department of Aging. “But the high rates of transmission with the Omicron variant has resulted in spikes in cases in our center membership, volunteers and staff. By closing for three weeks, we hope we can keep everyone healthier until this surge passes.”

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The department has created the “The OPAL Center” to offer virtual classes and support groups to seniors.

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Residents interested in participating can email theopalcenter@baltimorecountymd.gov or call 410-887-3654 to register.

CBS Baltimore Staff