The WEHC shutdown following an outbreak in October. However, closing down for a few days during low temperatures is not an option.
“We actually have a very good process in place at the shelter to screen people for symptoms of COVID-19, also to identify as new folks come in if they meet criteria for COVID-19,” said Huval.
Huval explained the shelter has isolation spaces. But the WEHC isn’t operating at maximum capacity, which is about 450 people. Therefore, five hotels are being used as an extension to the shelter.
Two hotels are used for people to recover from COVID. The other three, which are described as “wellness” hotels, are used for non-COVID cases. People at high risk of catching the virus, like senior citizens, stay there and receive medical attention.
The shelter currently has 14 COVID cases, but Huval said they are still taking in new people.
Teams are also on the ground, informing homeless people about their options.