A woman at a New York City homeless shelter has tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.
It’s the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the sprawling shelter system serving 58,000 homeless New Yorkers at 450 sites.
“At this time, there are one confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among the New Yorkers experiencing sheltered homelessness who we serve,” said Department of Homeless Services spokesman Isaac McGinn.
“DSS has implemented quarantine protocol for this one individual who is currently hospitalized, as well as the other individuals with whom this individual shared a room,” he said.
The shelter case was first reported by The City.
The infected resident was living in a women’s shelter but the agency declined to identify which one.
Eight other clients who resided in the same dorm are being quarantined for 14 days at a separate location that DHS established under city guidelines, McGinn added.
McGinn told the Post the shelter where the woman stayed underwent a deep cleaning and remains open.
Officials are also monitoring other residents or staff for possible cases, but there have been no other referrals for care thus far, McGinn added.
Meanwhile, DHS rolled out a screening process to hundreds of outreach workers to identify street homeless individuals who may be experiencing possible symptoms for COVID-19 and connect them to testing and assessment at the city’s public hospitals.
The outreach team transported six street homeless individuals to hospitals for further evaluation.
There are zero confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among the street homeless New Yorkers surveyed thus far, the agency said.
The union leader representing the security guards at homeless shelters claimed that the facilities are “breeding grounds” for the Coronavirus and complained that the city was not providing his members with protective gear such as respiratory masks.