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Homeless shelter protocols during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 10:44 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 01:44:45-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — What do you do during a health pandemic when you house hundreds of people every night?

"Frequent hand washing, cleaning of door knobs. do that three or four times a day," said Jean Fedigan, from the Sister Jose Women's Center.

Fedigan said they can shelter up to 125 women.

"We disinfect everything at least a couple of times a day or more, if needed."

The protocol established at this meeting encouraged shelter to immediately identify who might have symptoms at each shelter.

"It's going to happen, we have to just isolate them," Fedigan said.

Lisa Chastain, with the Gospel Rescue Mission, said they're taking every precaution possible.

"We are sterilizing every inch of our shelters."

"We did a deep dive clean, where we stripped all of the beds and every area of the shelter and disinfected it," Chastain added.

Dr. Bob England, Interim Director of the Pima County Health Department, directed shelter workers to routinely sanitize communal areas, including sign-in counters and shelves.

"Diluted bleach, for example, that you can use to clean off surfaces," England said.

England added that isolation should be the first option for shelter workers if they come across someone they believe might be ill.

"I don't think we need to start calling 911 for people unless you would've called 911 for them before.