COVID-19 spike leaving few options for homeless & shelter staff

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter on Seminole Drive closed early this week after a COVID-19 outbreak.

The shelter is expected to reopen Tuesday night after a deep clean.

The Salvation Army shelter said they had several positive cases and gave homeless residents the option of staying inside the shelter to quarantine or leave.

The situation itself frustrated some in the shelter because they felt if they stayed and didn’t have the virus, they would likely get it. The option for many was to leave the shelter and sleep on the streets, which isn’t ideal for many of the disabled shelter regulars.

News 19 spoke with Tammy Dawkins who previously stayed at the shelter and currently has a loved one there. Dawkins says she feels helpless being homeless and keeping her husband healthy during this COVID-19 spike.

Dawkins said, “They are telling us now we can go back inside. I haven’t been tested. I don’t want to go inside because I don’t know if I have it to give to somebody randomly tonight. We don’t know if they have it.”

The Salvation Army said the residents that tested positive are no longer at the shelter. After the deep clean they will welcome people back and provide quarantine space.

For entry into the Salvation Army shelter, people take a drug test and get their temperatures taken. COVID tests are optional.

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