Utica, N.Y. - The First Presbyterian Church in Utica has canceled a special once a month meeting that was set for tonight.
The church holds what it calls The Circle of Joy, an ecumenical service for people with disabilities, on the second Monday night of each month, and tonight's is canceled.
Joy of Life Coordinator Betty Abel Jellencich says sometimes up to 80 people attend the service which is held in this community hall area of the church at 1605 Genesee St. in South Utica.
Jellencich says many of those 80 people come from a variety of group homes around the region, "A number of the group homes that the state or ARC, or UCP run, many of them have closed (to visitors) because of the high level of flu cases so we thought it would probably be safer because it is a bit of an at-risk population. Many of the people that we get besides the people we get with disabilities, some are also in wheelchairs, and we didn't want to endanger their health."
Jellencich says the church has also put up small bottles of hand sanitizer near all of the church entrances. She says attendance has been down slightly over the past month, possibly from people who are feeling ill, or those who may want to keep from getting sick.