First COVID-19 outbreak in Edmonton’s homeless community reported at Hope Mission shelter

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Six people in Edmonton’s homeless population have tested positive for COVID-19, linked to an outbreak at the Hope Mission Emergency Shelter.

This is the first reported COVID-19 outbreak among the city’s homeless community.

Alberta Health Services spokeswoman Holly Budd confirmed the outbreak to Postmedia Tuesday evening and said anyone deemed to be at risk of contracting the virus has been referred to Edmonton’s isolation shelter.

This shelter, with an undisclosed location, was set up in mid-August as a place to isolate for those experiencing homelessness and nowhere else to go. It replaced the previous isolation wing of the Edmonton Expo Centre, which also served as a daytime drop-in site for residents until the end of July.

“Alberta Health Services is working closely with community partners, after a positive case of COVID-19 was identified in an individual experiencing homelessness in Edmonton,” Budd said in a statement. “Contact tracing was immediately undertaken and is continuing, along with swabbing for those who may have been exposed.”

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