54 people positive for COVID at Fort Collins homeless shelter


The positive tests were among both guests and staff members at the shelter.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — In the last three weeks, 54 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at a temporary homeless shelter in Fort Collins, according to a release from the Health District of Northern Larimer County.

The outbreak is at the Blue Spruce Temporary Shelter, a Fort Collins congregate homeless shelter operated by Fort Collins Rescue Mission that opened at the beginning of November. 

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In total, 50 shelter guests and four staff members have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the health department said. 

The majority of the positive test results were received by the shelter this week, according to the health department:

  • Nov. 23 – 3 positive cases (from tests taken Nov. 13)
  • Nov. 28 – 10 positive cases (from tests taken Nov. 18)
  • Dec. 2 – 37 positive cases (from tests taken Nov. 25)
  • Dec. 3 – 50 positive cases (from tests taken Dec. 2)

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The shelter said they have implemented the following in response to the outbreak:

  • Convening of an emergency management team to coordinate the response
  • Extensive outreach to locate/isolate individuals
  • Proactive outreach to agencies that serve people experiencing homelessness
  • Contact tracing related to all impacted individuals, in addition to standard contact tracing conducted by Larimer County Department of Health and Environment
  • Immediate opening of a new, overflow recovery space—in addition to the isolation/recovery/quarantine (IRQ) site already operated by Health District of Northern Larimer County and Homeward Alliance—for individuals who test positive
  • Elevation of essential services and simultaneous suspension of non-essential services and/or services that necessitate prolonged close contact

Blue Spruce Temporary Shelter opened to help provide better social distancing for the Fort Collins homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It currently houses about 100 men experiencing homelessness each night, according to the health department. 

The shelter is located at 1301 Blue Spruce Dr.

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