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COVID-19 outbreak at Surrey emergency shelter infects 26 people

Last Updated Jan 24, 2021 at 12:22 am PST

North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Source: City of Surrey)
Summary

Twenty-four clients and two staff have contracted the virus

The centre was set up in April to help ease crowding in shelters, give people a place to self-isolate

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Surrey Emergency Response Centre, which was set up to give people who are homeless a place to self-isolate while experiencing symptoms or awaiting test results.

Twenty-four clients and two staff have contracted the virus, according to a statement from the health authority Saturday.

“Fraser Health is screening staff and clients, and case and contact management is ongoing. Those identified as cases and close contacts have been instructed to self-isolate. In partnership with the Fraser Health Mental Health and Substance Use team, Fraser Health Public Health is working with the site on their COVID-19 mitigation strategies and infection control measures,” a release says.

The centre was opened in April, offering  110 spaces divided between the two former skating rinks at the North Surrey Recreation Centre.

It operates on a referral-only basis and was opened as part of a “proactive approach”meant to reduce the number of people in shelters, allow more physical distancing, and minimize transmission among vulnerable people.

This is the first outbreak that has been declared since the site opened nine months ago.