Union Gospel Mission confirms coronavirus case at Downtown Eastside location

Sep 22 2020, 11:29 pm

Union Gospel Mission (UGM) has confirmed that a tenant of one of its transitional housing units in the Downtown Eastside has tested positive for COVID-19.

“Our immediate thoughts and prayers are with this community member, who is now self-isolating, receiving care, and following Health Authority guidelines,” said UGM in a statement this week. “For the privacy and dignity of our community, we cannot share the person’s identity, but we can tell you the individual is not in regular close contact with our guests nor frontline staff, and is a tenant of UGM transitional housing.”

In response to the confirmed cases, UGM said it is taking “immediate measures to respond according to our plan. We will take all possible steps to safeguard the wellbeing of our community. We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our guests, many of whom rely on UGM for meals, shelter and safety daily for survival. Their lives are on the line, and we will continue to serve them with dignity and respect through new extra measures to keep our community safe.”

As well, UGM said its Emergency Management Team is responding swiftly “to minimize any risk of transmission and keep our guests safe.” These actions, the organization said, include but are not limited to the following:

  • Following health recommendations of the health authority
  • Making PPE available for all staff and executing a deep clean of all relevant areas and their 601 East Hastings facility
  • Reducing the number of staff on premises at UGM, implementing physical distancing measures, and continuing to screen guests for any symptoms while working with health authorities to best care for those in need
  • Making masks available for tenants
  • Notifying their staff and residents on how to prevent and recognize COVID-19
  • Following UGM’s pandemic plan
  • Reviewing how to best proceed or amend their operations in order to best protect the well-being of their community

Going forward UGM said it plans to rely on health recommendations moving forward and advises anyone with questions to contact Vancouver Coastal Health or other public health officials for all COVID-19 information.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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