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April 17, 2020

Proactive Measures Reveal Additional Cases of COVID-19 in Men’s Resource Center

Chloe Morroni - Email
(385) 261-9301

Salt Lake County, UT - The first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 were identified in the Men’s Resource Center in South Salt Lake last week. 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 identified, the men who shared that dorm were moved to a quarantine facility and tested. 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. 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 is still not accepting new guests and visitors are not allowed in the facility.

The nature of a congregant living facility like a Homeless Resource Center creates unique challenges in the effort to slow the spread of the virus. 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. 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.

The following individuals will be available for interviews via Zoom at at 10:30 this morning.

Ilene Risk - SLCoHD Epidemiology Bureau Manager

Katherine Fife – Director of Programs and Partnerships for Salt Lake County

David Litvack – Senior Policy Advisor, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall

Michelle Flynn – Executive Director, The Road Home

Pamela Atkinson – Community Advocate