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Individual tests positive for COVID-19 at DTES Union Gospel Mission

The UGM adds that the individual is not in regular close contact with its guests nor frontline staff, and is a tenant of UGM transitional housing.
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Photo: Union Gospel Mission

A charitable organization in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside says one of its residents has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a post, The Union Gospel Mission writes that someone at its Hastings location tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Due to privacy reasons, the shelter will not release any personal information about the person's identity. The individual is now self-isolating, receiving care, and following health authority guidelines.

The UGM adds that the individual is not in regular close contact with its guests nor frontline staff, and is a tenant of UGM transitional housing.

"We are taking immediate measures to respond according to our plan," reads the post. "We will take all possible steps to safeguard the wellbeing of our community. We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our guests, many of whom rely on UGM for meals, shelter and safety daily for survival.

"Their lives are on the line, and we will continue to serve them with dignity and respect through new extra measures to keep our community safe."

The UGM Emergency Management Team is acting to minimize any risk of transmission and keep its guests safe. This includes, but is not limited to:  

  • Following health recommendations of the health authority.
  • Making PPE available for all staff and executing a deep clean of all relevant areas and our 601 East Hastings facility.
  • Reducing the number of staff on premises at UGM, implementing social distancing measures, and continuing to screen guests for any symptoms while working with health authorities to best care for those in need. 
  • Making masks available for tenants
  • Notifying our staff and residents on how to prevent and recognize COVID-19.
  • Following UGM’s pandemic plan.
  • Reviewing how to best proceed or amend our operations in order to best protect the well-being of our community. 

UGM will provide further information in the coming days about this case of COVID-19 or other developments.