Covid-19 Risk Reduction Updates
In this ever-changing world of Covid-19, TRM continues to review, revise and reframe how to provide the safest possible services and reduce the risk of Covid-19 within TRM’s Shelters and services. Safety for our guests, staff and volunteers remains our top priority. With that priority as our focus, leadership has worked diligently to restructure both organizational structure and programming. Highlights of these changes are:
1. Quarantine and Isolation- We have established areas within the main shelter for both quarantine and isolation. The quarantine rooms will be utilized for any guests self-identifying that they have possibly been exposed to someone who is symptomatic or for those coming to the shelter from identified geographic “hot spots”. Guests placed in quarantine will remain there for 14 days or until they exhibit identified symptoms. The isolation rooms will be used in case we have current guests who are symptomatic for Covid-19 including a fever of 100.4 or greater plus a cough or shortness of breath. Staff will consult with SNCO Health Department to determine the need to transport guests exhibiting symptoms to the appropriate medical facility.
2. Security and Screening- We have changed how we interface with those seeking to shelter with us. One significant change is that entry doors to all shelters will be locked at all times. Potential guests will be pre-screened to determine eligibility and Covid-19 risk prior to entering the buildings. All guests will be screened at the Main Shelter. Temperatures will be taken, and questions asked to determine if those seeking shelter are either symptomatic or at risk for having been exposed. Screening positive will not necessarily exclude someone from receiving shelter but will help us to place them in the most appropriate living situation to keep them and other as safe as possible.
3. Priority Sheltering- In addition to the above described screening methods, for the first time in TRM history, we will give priority to those coming from the 5-county MSA including:
All other potential guests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Our goal is to decrease the likelihood of have people who enter our facilities from geographic “hot spots”. This was not a decision that came easily. It has always been our desire to serve all who come to our doors seeking help, yet in this critical time and considering our top priority of safety for guests, staff and volunteers it is the soundest decision.
4. Food Distribution- As previously announced, we continue to limit in-house meals to our guests while continuing to provide sack meals that include items for supper and breakfast to those from the community at large. We are also continuing to supply food boxes to the community every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
5. Resource Needs- As with any changes, there are costs we will incur in order to carry out the level of safety and service needed to protect everyone involved. Examples of this include:
a. In order to provide the areas for quarantine and isolation, we will need to add staff in order to effectively monitor and provide service to those within those areas.
b. Structural changes are required to bring our facilities into a position to accommodate both our regular guests as well as those needing quarantine or isolation.
c. In order to effectively lock down our facilities, security upgrades have been installed including locks and cameras.