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Salinas Warming Shelter reports COVID-19 case numbers

SALINAS WARMING SHELTER
Salinas Warming Shelter

SALINAS, Calif. (KION)

UPDATE 7/21/2020 5:30 p.m. The Salinas Warming Shelter reports that a total of 10 clients have tested positive for COVID-19.

As of Tuesday evening:

  • 10 clients tested positive total
  • 2 clients tested positive in the last 7 days
  • 9 clients recovered
  • 42 clients tested negative in total
  • 20 clients tested negative in the last 7 days
  • 6 clients are still waiting for test results

The shelter said all of its clients have been tested for COVID-19.

The shelter said it has worked with the County and City and adopted stricter guidelines to make sure clients are tested and limit the spread of the virus.

UPDATE: 7/10/20 - Five clients at the Salinas Warming Shelter have now tested positive for COVID-19, according to Community Homeless Solutions.

KION is told the number of clients staying at the shelter, as of July 10, is now down to 36.

While Community Homeless Solutions (who runs the shelter) previously said they were told by the Monterey County Health Department that only symptomatic clients can get a coronavirus test, that decision changed.

Community Homeless Solutions says as of July 11, “all clients staying at the Salinas Warming Shelter will have been tested or will be awaiting test result.”

As of Friday night, they provided the following breakdown:

  • Five clients tested positive
  • 17 clients tested negative
  • 17 clients were tested July 10 and are awaiting results
  • Six clients will be tested July 11

Community Homeless Solutions tells KION all clients who tested positive, and their families, have been quarantined in trailers or hotels rooms. Six clients who tested COVID-19 negative were also moved from the shelter to trailers.

UPDATE: 07/07/20

With three confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Salinas Warming Shelter, multiple people tell KION that management there is mishandling the situation.

“And it makes me mad because we’re not animals, but we’re being treated like animals,” an anonymous source said.

There were a mix of concerns, from a lack of testing to a lack of transparency. Those inside said they fear that this will lead to more people coming down with COVID-19.

“They need to get everyone out of that building, put them up somewhere, and clean the building,” the source said.

About 60 people were living at the warming shelter when the first case happened.

As of Tuesday night, clients were confined to their rooms and wearing masks. People inside told KION that was not the case early last week.

“Basically, I felt my family was in danger since the start,” Frank, a client, said.

In a statement, Community Homeless Solutions, which runs the shelter, said they are "containing the spread through quarantine, isolation and shelter-in-place" to follow health department and CDC guidelines.

Despite improvement with enforcement, people inside also want to know why everyone isn't being tested.

Community Homeless Solutions told KION that testing sites were only available to people showing symptoms and "we are waiting for further instructions from the Health Department of Monterey County on how to proceed.”

Health Officer Dr. Moreno said that is the case, and these cases don't mean everyone inside the facility was actually exposed.

“One case in a facility doesn’t mean that everybody in the facility is considered a close contact,” Moreno said.

To be considered a "close contact," the health department said someone needs to be within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.

But that goes back to transparency. The anonymous source KION spoke with said clients weren't being clued in to developments.

KION reached back out to Community Homeless Solutions after the interview with the source. They replied, saying, "to our knowledge all staff and clients pertaining to the Salinas Warming Shelter have been notified and informed about the quarantined and lockdown taking place.

UPDATE: O7/06/20

A third person at the Salinas Warming Shelter has tested positive for COVID-19, KION confirms with Community Homeless Solutions.

This latest person to be infected with coronavirus is part of a family that was staying at the shelter. Community Homeless Solutions says the three confirmed people with COVID-19 are not all part of the same family.

The shelter is continuing to "shelter in place," with no one allowed in or out except for staff. Clients are allowed to leave for medical purposes. Meals are being served inside of individual rooms.

Despite the growing number of cases, Teresa Erickson, Community Homeless Solutions Board of Directors President, says testing continues to be a difficult task. She says only people with COVID-19 symptoms are able to get tested, and is told by the Monterey County Health Department there is no current ability for testing to come to the facility.

This is a developing story.

UPDATE: 7/04/20

A second person has tested positive for COVID-19 according to a statement released by the Salinas Warming Shelter.

A spokesperson for the operator of the shelter says a client tested positive at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital on Friday, July 3, 2020 after displaying symptoms. The shelter says that person has been move to a hotel room through Project Roomkey and that those at the shelter who came in contact with the individual have been quarantined.

The release went on to say the following: "Community Homeless Solutions is actively following all the recommendations and procedures as defined by both the County of Monterey Health Department and the CDC. The shelter has changed its practices to shelter-in-place with the exception of essential medical needs. At this time we have limited entry to the shelter to only staff and clients."

SALINAS, Calif. (KION)

The Salinas Warming Shelter is issuing a quarantine after one of the people inside tested positive for COVID-19, according to its operator Community Homeless Solutions.

Teresa Erickson, Community Homeless Solutions Board of Directors President, said a “client team member” tested positive. The exposure from the individual was believed to have started on Saturday, and the person tested positive on Monday.

That person is now being housed at an undisclosed motel.

Erickson says they are working with the Monterey County Health Department and city officials. While not everyone is being tested, they say they have screened a few people who may have been exposed.

KION is told meals were previously served in the same room, but with six feet social distancing. Meals are now served inside of each individual room.
“Community Homeless Solutions is actively following the recommendations and procedures as defined by both the Monterey County Health Department and the CDC.”

Right now Community Homeless Solutions says only staff and clients are allowed in the building.

"So the only way that people are leaving the shelter is for essential medical type reasons and anything that's brought into us is sanitized and that kind of thing so we don't have anyone else in the building," Erickson said.

There are about 60 people in the warming shelter, including children and families. Community Homeless Solutions says before the COVID-19 case, people have been allowed to leave for essential services for two to four hours at a time, but that has been stopped. There are temperature and symptom checks which the shelter says they were doing since March.

This is a developing story.

Coronavirus / Monterey County / Salinas / Top Stories

Aaron Groff

Aaron Groff is an evening co-anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.

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