94 residents of men’s homeless center in South Salt Lake test positive for COVID-19

South Salt Lake Men’s Resource Center. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, April 17, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County has revealed that 94 residents of the Men’s Resource Center have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s nearly 46% of the 205 residents tested at the county’s South Salt Lake homeless facility.

“The first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 were identified in the Men’s Resource Center in South Salt Lake last week,” a statement from Salt Lake County says.

“The county, city, and partners put an action plan into place to limit and identify other cases. Weeks of added procedures to prevent the spread of the virus held positive cases back as long as possible. Those include extra cleaning, further separation inside the resource centers, and daily screenings for temperature and symptoms, followed by testing, as needed.”

After the first case was detected, the homeless men who shared that dorm were moved to a quarantine facility and tested, the statement says. New clients were no longer accepted at the resource center.

After a second positive case was found in a different dorm in the resource center, the whole center became a quarantine facility and the majority of guests and staff were tested for COVID-19.

“Test results for the Men’s Resource Center are showing a high percentage of positives, with 94 men testing positive for COVID-19 out of 205 men tested,” the county statement says. “Those who have tested positive have moved to a county isolation facility where they can monitor their symptoms, rest, and recover while receiving three meals a day. Those who have tested negative are staying at the Men’s Resource Center and are receiving health screenings two times a day.”

The center remains closed to new guests and visitors.

“Social distancing is one of the most effective methods for slowing the spread of COVID-19, but that is especially challenging in a building that houses 300 people,” the statement says. “Despite the significant efforts made by service providers and health officials, we have reached an unfortunate situation like that seen in other similar facilities across the country.

“Precautions are being taken at other Homeless Resource Centers as well. Service providers and health care providers continue to monitor, screen, and test as appropriate.”


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