4 people test positive for coronavirus at Ottawa’s Shepherds of Good Hope

On-site testing is now available at Shepherds of Good Hope after four individuals who recently stayed at the shelter tested positive for the coronavirus. File Photo / Getty Images

Ottawa’s Shepherds of Good Hope says four individuals who stayed at its shelter in recent weeks have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The shelter for Ottawa’s homeless and vulnerable populations says it was first advised on May 14 that a client who had last stayed with Shepherds a week earlier had tested positive for the virus, which prompted wider testing of other individuals in the same unit.

Those tests confirmed two cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in asymptomatic individuals.

READ MORE: City of Ottawa to spend $11.4M to support homeless population during coronavirus pandemic

Both people who tested positive, as well as their roommates, were immediately transferred to the Routhier Isolation Centre in Ottawa.

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A fourth positive case was identified on May 18, with the individual in question also transferred to Routhier.

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Since May 14, Shepherds has made on-site testing available for all clients and staff and everyone in the shelter system is being asked to wear masks at all times.

Meals are now served in clients’ rooms, where individuals are asked to remain whenever possible.

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Toronto records its first homeless death of coronavirus pandemic – May 11, 2020

The novel coronavirus pandemic has pushed Ottawa to find new resources for the city’s homeless and vulnerable populations.

A recent campaign led by Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney petitioned the city to ask higher levels of government for funding to purchase some of Ottawa’s hotels, many of which sit empty as tourism slows to a crawl during the pandemic, and repurpose them into homes for the city’s most vulnerable.

Last week, city council put that idea into writing, passing a motion to explore the business case for purchasing hotels to boost Ottawa’s housing supply.


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