COLORADO SPRINGS — A homeless isolation shelter opened in Colorado Springs Sunday to serve those who tested positive for the virus or showed symptoms.
In a press conference on April 1, Mayor John Suthers announced the isolation shelter will serve people who show symptoms of or test positive for COVID-19 but who do not need hospitalization.
The opening was delayed due to unforeseen insurance and staffing complications, the City of Colorado Springs said. It has cots, blankets, restrooms, portable showers and hand-washing stations in the shelter to care for 70 people.
The idea behind the shelter is to prevent spreading the disease in the traditional homeless shelters. Dr. Robin Johnson with El Paso County Public Health said this isolation shelter will give time and space to homeless population to flatten the curve during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is not a walk-up facility. Right now, the isolation shelter will only take referrals from Memorial Central Hospital and shelter providers.
"This will help spread out the cases we have over a longer period of time, preserving critical health care resources and ultimately decreasing cases and fatalities," Johnson said.
There are multiple organizations helping with this process. Catholic Charities of Centeral Colorado will provide two meals a day, while Envida will provide transportation to the shelter. Goodwill is also helping out by providing clothing for the homeless population coming to the shelter.
As of Sunday, there have been 435 positive cases and 25 deaths of COVID-19 reported in El Paso County.