A Father Joe’s Villages truck. Courtesy of the charity

Eight people at a women’s shelter managed by Father Joe’s Villages tested positive for COVID-19, prompting 27 clients to be relocated to local hotel rooms.

The organization said Friday that they moved the women as as a precautionary measure.

Officials found the positive cases through routine testing and screening conducted by Father Joe’s staff. Per procedure, the women who tested positive “immediately” moved to hotel rooms operated by San Diego County.

As an additional measure, others in the shelter also moved in collaboration with the county and city of San Diego, according to a statement from Father Joe’s.

“I pray the individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 have a speedy recovery. Their beds will be waiting for them when they return from their CDC-recommended period of isolation,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, Father Joe’s Villages president and CEO.

Vargas said 1% of the people served at Father Joe’s shelters have tested positive during the pandemic. That “is lower than the current rate of infection in San Diego in general, despite the increased risk and challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness.”

He credited “stringent protocols designed to limit the spread of the virus and prepare staff and clients for positive cases” as part of the low COVID-19 rates within Father Joe’s shelters.

Those protocols include testing and screening of shelter residents, new clients and on-site staff, adherence to social-distancing rules and use of face masks, and frequent sanitation.

“I thank our staff and primary care teams for their monumental efforts to act quickly to protect the safety and well being of the clients we serve. Our staff continues to demonstrate impressive initiative, compassion and efficiency in responding to the needs of these clients,” Vargas said.

– City News Service

Show comments