The Ottawa Mission is accepting new clients at its downtown shelter after closing its doors last weekend due to COVID-19 cases.
The Ottawa Mission, the Shepherds of Good Hope, the Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre and the Cornerstone Housing for Women stopped taking new admissions last weekend due to COVID-19 outbreaks. In a joint statement, the shelters said they were closing their doors to new admissions, "in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission."
In an email to CTV News Ottawa, the Ottawa Mission said it's accepting new clients, provided that they've not been in the shelter for the past two weeks.
"We were in outbreak status for part of this past month due to positive cases of COVID-19 identified earlier by testing and therefore our intake was paused accordingly," said Aileen Leo of the Ottawa Mission.
"That period has now passed and we’re accepting new clients provided that they’ve not been in the shelter for the past two weeks to protect against new infections."
The Ottawa Mission says its capacity to accept new clients is limited, and if capacity is exceeded new clients will be diverted to the Tom Brown Arena.
The Cornerstone Housing for Women tells CTV News Ottawa it is also accepting new clients again.
Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at five shelters. One shelter has reported 66 clients and 10 staff members testing positive for COVID-19.
The health unit does not name the shelters to protect the privacy of staff and residents.