Charlottetown men's shelter sets up COVID-19 isolation room

Staff at Bedford MacDonald House men’s shelter in Charlottetown have taken steps to protect guests amid COVID-19 concerns in the province and around the world.

'We are hyper vigilant'

Bedford MacDonald House has capacity to sleep up to 12 men each night. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

Staff at Bedford MacDonald House men's shelter in Charlottetown have taken steps to protect guests amid COVID-19 concerns in the province and around the world.

Residential manager Mike Redmond said they have set up an isolation room for anybody who is showing signs of illness. 

"We are fortunate to have a single unit and access to a bathroom so we have made the provision to, if and when that should occur, that we are able to react in a positive manner."

Staff are also cleaning door handles and common areas three times per shift, Redmond said. He said a few staff members who were showing symptoms of illness have been removed from the shelter's schedule.

"It's just understanding this segment of the population that we deal with and the vulnerability of these gentlemen — many of them have respiratory issues and weakened immune systems," he said.

"So we are hyper vigilant in terms of being able to make sure that the accommodations and facility that they're in are extremely clean and bacteria free."

At Blooming House, a shelter for women experiencing homelessness in Charlottetown, guests now have to wash their hands when they arrive.

Co-founder Liz Corney said staff there are very aware of precautions they should be taking. They are also trying to make sure the mental health of clients is being looked after, she said.

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Malcolm Campbell


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