Salvation Army monitors COVID-19 in efforts to prevent spread among the homeless

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MONROE, LA. (03/17/2020)– The Salvation Army is making adjustments to their facilities in multiple states including Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. This comes after the novel Coronavirus was declared a pandemic.

Although people experiencing homelessness can be more isolated, they’re also at a higher risk for chronic medical issues. This could lead to a quick spread of an infectious disease. That’s why the Salvation Army has implemented extra precautions for the safety and health of residents, staff, and visitors.

“We are spraying everything down, we are sterilizing every single day,” Captain Jerry Casey with the Salvation Army said. “You know because our clients go out during the day. We strip everything down and we we resterilize then we bring them back in.”

The residential facilities have close living conditions. That’s why Captain Casey says they are checking temperatures before letting anyone new in. If their temperature is irregular, they are immediately sent to St. Francis to get checked out. Captain Casey says if a resident of staff member gets sick, a quarantine room will be established, but space is limited.

“We can go back to our house if we have to be contained, they don’t have anywhere to go,” Captain Casey said.

Captain Casey says the Salvation Army will not turn anyone away.

“Putting them out on the street would break my heart and so I absolutely refuse to have to do that,” Captain Casey said. “So we are trying to figure out a better way if they are ill to have to place them somewhere where they will be safe.”

The Salvation Army has cancelled all events that consist of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. Bible classes for residents will continue, but will be held in the courtyard for small groups at a time.

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