Olmsted County isolates homeless residents with COVID-19

Olmsted County isolates homeless residents with COVID-19

“It’s bad enough to have COVID,” he said. “Think about if you couple that with homelessness and then, you know, the temperatures and everything else.”  Dunn said “it’s been all hands on deck” with community providers, to respond to the needs of those who are most vulnerable. You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.

Olmsted County Housing Director David Dunn says these transitions can be made in a matter of hours. If 10 or more people need to be isolated while recovering from the virus, the entire shelter will operate as a COVID-positive unit. Healthy guests will have temporary shelter at the Rochester Salvation Army.

Hospitals, shelters and homeless service providers are helping to direct people experiencing homelessness who test positive for COVID-19 to these safe isolation spaces. Nurses and other staff check on those in isolation daily to make sure they don’t require hospitalization, and to provide meals and basic medication like Tylenol. Staff expects the number of COVID-19-positive cases to grow over the weekend. They will modify spaces at the Rochester Community Warming Center, their local homeless shelter, to isolate up to six more residents with COVID-19.

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  • Olmsted County isolates homeless residents with COVID-19
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