COVID-19 outbreak hits Fort Collins homeless shelter with 54 cases

Fort Collins Rescue Mission’s temporary homeless shelter at Blue Spruce Drive is experiencing an active COVID-19 outbreak, with 54 cases now confirmed among overnight guests and staff. 

The outbreak, which is expected to grow in numbers as more testing is conducted this week, showcases the unique risk that COVID-19 poses to Fort Collins’ homeless population — especially as overnight temperatures continue to drop, pushing more people to indoor shelters. COVID-19 transmission is thought to be about 18 times more prevalent indoors than outdoors, so any congregate living facility faces a considerable inherent risk of transmission.

The seasonal shelter, operating out of rented space at the Food Bank for Larimer County site, has provided shelter to about 100 single men each night since it opened in November. The facility shelters men from 5:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. and can accommodate up to 150 people.

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