COVID-19 Still Impacts Events and Programs for Local Seniors


Last updated 1/13/2021 at 8:59pm | View PDF

The next Heart of Seniors event is tentatively scheduled for 2022.

Despite the two promising new vaccines approved last month to fight COVID-19, the pandemic's infection and death rates continue to increase.

As of December 21, Tulare County has had 29,364 reported cases of COVID-19. The virus has killed 354 people in the county.

Kings County has had 14,786 cases, with 104 deaths.

In addition to the tragic loss of life, the pandemic has impacted most local businesses, with many of them shutting down temporarily or even permanently.

COVID-19 has also affected most of the programs and events that assist and bring together local seniors.

Visalia Senior Games

More than 500 athletes 50 and older competed in 13 events at the 2019 Visalia Senior Games. An even bigger turnout was expected for the following games, which were originally scheduled for two weekends in March 2020, but postponed.

"At this time, the City of Visalia Community Services Department does not have any updates on the Visalia Senior Games," said City of Visalia Community Services Director Jeremy Rogers. "All plans for future events will depend upon guidelines and recommendations from the state and county public health officials."

Heart of Seniors

The seventh annual Heart of Seniors "Spectacular Resource Event" Luncheon, hosted by the Senior Coalition, was held on February 13, 2020 at the Wyndham Hotel in Visalia before the full impact of the pandemic. The event included a vital resource fair with vendors, a fashion show with the latest in fashion for the mature woman, and a luncheon.

This year's Heart of Seniors Expo and Fashion Show, which was scheduled for February 11, has been cancelled (instead of postponed) because it is a Valentine's Day event, explained Stefani Salierno-Fisher, executive board member of the Senior Coalition.

"Our plan is to do it next year when we can resume without the covid scare," she said. "We didn't want to risk the lives of any seniors."

As a result of the decision, the next Heart of Seniors event is tentatively scheduled for February 10, 2022.

Visalia Senior Center

The Visalia Senior Center's drive-thru lunch is expected to continue through the end of February. Lunches are available for pick-up/to-go Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meals are $4.50 for Visalia seniors (55+) and must be reserved by 12:30 p.m. the previous business day.

Menus are online at and on the Visalia Parks and Recreation Facebook page. To reserve a lunch or for more information, call (559) 713-4481.

Hanford Parks & Recreation

Hanford Parks & Recreation will continue its aerobics and Zumba classes in the park, reports Recreation Supervisor Armando M. da Silva. For more information, call (559) 585-2525.

Tulare Senior Center

"The current plan for the Tulare Senior Center is to continue to offer the Grab & Go program until it is safe and recommended to open our facility for recreation," said Karie Rodriguez, City of Tulare senior administrative assistant. "Hopefully funding will remain in place to encourage the boosted program."

Seniors with reservations can drive up to pick up a meal for a $3 donation, Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to noon.

The center delivers lunch to the homes of seniors who used bus or dial-a-ride transportation, and frozen meals to 52 Meals on Wheels clients.

For program updates, call (559) 685-2330.

Alzheimer's Association

The local Alzheimer's Association chapter continues to offer educational programs and support for caregivers online.

For a complete schedule, visit and scroll down to Events. The Educational Programs link leads to online events and activities.

COVID-19 Testing Sites

Tulare County has COVID-19 testing sites in Dinuba, Porterville and Tulare. Testing is free and available to anyone. Appointments can be made by phone at 1-888-634-1123.

Information about testing in Kings County is at


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