County Board of Health Working With Salvation Army After Coronavirus Cluster Identified at Harbor Light Complex in Downtown Cleveland

click to enlarge County Board of Health Working With Salvation Army After Coronavirus Cluster Identified at Harbor Light Complex in Downtown Cleveland
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Staff and clients of the Salvation Army's Harbor Light Complex in Cleveland are being tested after the Cuyahoga County Board of Health identified a cluster of coronavirus cases among residents of the facility.

The board did not release any other details such as how many cases were confirmed.

“We are committed to the safety of our clients, staff and volunteers, and are prepared for this unfortunate eventuality. We were proactive in contacting the Board of Health and we are appreciative of their assistance, as well as that of the City of Cleveland,” Major Thomas Applin, Divisional Secretary for The Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland Area Services, said in a release. “We will continue to provide the Board of Health with whatever assistance they need in order to protect the health and well-being of our clients and staff. As these individuals and their families face the diagnosis, we pray for a healthy recovery."

Advocates have warned since the pandemic first began to spread that homeless shelters, like prisons, were uniquely unsuited for the kind of social distancing being encouraged by health authorities or the stay-at-home orders being given by Gov. DeWine.

About 10,000 Ohioans are living in shelters, according to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio.

"Congregate shelters are not set up to support social distancing, and people who are unsheltered lack access to proper hygiene and sanitation and must go out into the community to get their basic needs met and will come in frequent contact with other people," a report from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness noted last month.

Residents of the Harbor Light shelter who have tested positive have been quarantined, the Salvation Army said in a statement.
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