Joint statement on Ottawa shelter COVID-19 outbreaks

Please click here to download the statement.

January 29, 2021

Due to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, Shepherds of Good Hope, The Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre, Cornerstone Housing for Women and The Ottawa Mission, in coordination with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and Ottawa Inner City Health (OICH), proactively initiated sector-wide testing earlier this month. As a result of this testing, multiple positive cases have been identified at these locations.

All shelter residents who tested positive have been moved to isolation centres, and any staff who test positive are isolating at home. Further testing is ongoing at all emergency shelters and will continue in the days ahead. In each instance of a positive test, contact tracing is done with the guidance and lead of OPH and OICH.

We are actively working with OPH, OICH and other community partners, including the City of Ottawa, to ensure that consistent and enhanced measures are in place to respond to this evolving situation.

In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, our emergency shelters are not currently taking new admissions. We are working closely with the City of Ottawa to identify appropriate shelter accommodations for any additional individuals seeking assistance.

Our organizations are so thankful for the support we have received from our community throughout this pandemic. We recognize that this has been especially hard on people experiencing homelessness or those precariously housed. The wellbeing of our clients, volunteers and employees remains our top priority.

The staff and volunteers at each of our organizations have been working tirelessly since March 2020, in challenging circumstances, to support some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Further questions regarding these outbreaks should be directed to Ottawa Public Health.