COVID-19 Outbreak Rescinded at Downtown Mission

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The COVID-19 outbreak at the Downtown Mission has been lifted.

Mission executive director Reverend Ron Dunn says the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit rescinded the outbreak Wednesday night.

He says the past several weeks have been challenging but there is also a sense of accomplishment as the mission and its partners worked together to keep everyone safe and happy.

"We kicked COVID back to the curb and so we're feeling a little bit of pride in that today and all of our guests came through and they're healthy and they're happy and that's the end goal in all of this right, is to keep everyone safe and healthy and happy so," says Dunn. We certainly accomplished together as a community."

He says the mission continues to follow all public health safety measures and says the mission has also removed its large tables and church pews.

"The church had pews in it and was being used as day programming," he says. "Both upstairs and downstairs now have been turned into dining rooms but we can keep a greater level of separation between our guests and we've gone to individual seating tables versus the congregate tables that we had."

Dunn adds health and safety continues to be a top priority at the mission.

"It's strangely a sense of accomplishment even though the pandemic is still here and the risk of another outbreak is still there," says Dunn. "We've seen some really great places have multiple outbreaks, that still exists."

The outbreak was declared in early February.

According to Dunn, there were as many as 94 confirmed cases associated with the outbreak.

He says more than 20 of his staff members tested positive. 

The health unit did issue an order against the mission to shutdown its facilities during the outbreak.

The order was lifted last week and the mission resumed operations at its sites on Victoria Avenue and Ouellette Avenue.