The Salina Rescue Mission is dealing with COVID-19 after one of its residents tested positive for the virus.
According to the Mission on Wednesday, July 29th, a man staying at the facility told staff he was not feeling well.
Based on an examination of the shelter guest, EMS was called. They determined it would be best to take this shelter guest to the hospital where he later tested positive for Covid-19. The health department worked with the hospital to provide an adequate quarantine location for him.
Thursday, July 30th, the Mission had 53 men staying in the shelter. The Salina Rescue Mission was notified by the health department of the positive test. They recommended informing all shelter guests and staff they have been exposed to the virus and should quarantine themselves.
Rescue Mission staff and shelter guests complied, with the exception of a few shelter guests that did not want to self-quarantine and left the Mission.
On Friday, July 31st, a team of nurses led by the Salina Saline County Health Department came to the Mission and administered Covid-19 testing for all shelter guests and staff. The staff and guests of the Mission have complied with quarantining themselves throughout the weekend while awaiting test results.
Chad Young, Executive Director of the Salina Rescue Mission, said, “I believe the fact that we have made it this long living in tight quarters without incident is a testimony to the great job our staff and shelter guests have done in complying with recommended safety standards.”
Since learning of the positive Covid-19 test result, the Salina Rescue Mission has temporarily stopped taking in new guests while providing for those who were quarantined in the shelter.
On Monday, August 3rd, the the health department began meeting with the shelter guests and staff to go over their test results. At the time, 70% of the results had come back and ALL tested negative for the virus.
In order to properly quarantine all the shelter guests, arrangements were made as a cooperative effort between the health department, Saline County Emergency Management, and the Salina Rescue Mission for each person to be able to shelter in independent rooms for the remainder of the quarantine period.
During this time, the Mission will continue to shelter some of the men who are quarantined, while doing a deep cleaning of the facility. Other shelter guests are being quarantined at a second location provided by the health department and Saline County Emergency Management.
The Salina Rescue Mission will be temporarily closed as staff and residents fulfill the quarantine period and do a deep cleaning of the facility.
The Mission plans to re-open back to full capacity Thursday, August 13th.
The Salina Rescue Mission has served the Salina and surrounding communities for 39 years. In 2019, the Mission provided more than 54,000 meals and over 24,000 safe nights of shelter in addition to an employment program and a long-term Christian-based recovery program.
Over the last several months, the Salina Rescue Mission has taken many steps to help provide safe shelter for all of their residents and for feeding those in need in the community.
“We are thankful for being in such a loving and supportive community that desires to help homeless men overcome obstacles to get back on their own two feet. It’s a great way to share God’s love with those who feel lost and are struggling. We are thankful for the health department’s help,” said Mr. Young. “We look forward to continuing to be a positive part of our community for many years to come.”