3-phase plan aims to shelter homeless with COVID-19 in Olmsted County

(ABC 6 News) – Olmsted County announced an isolation plan for residents who are experiencing homelessness and test positive for COVID-19.

The three-phase isolation plan developed in collaboration with Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota and the Rochester Salvation Army is in response to sub-zero temperatures and an influx of COVID-19 cases.

“We need to take action to help protect those who are healthy as well as those who have tested positive for COVID-19,” said Olmsted County Housing Director Dave Dunn. “Making sure we have the resources available for some of our most vulnerable residents is important given the current climate.”

The plan is subject to change based on community needs.

Phase one (0-3 people in isolation)
Three rooms will be available at Olmsted County’s transitional housing facility, located at 105 N. Broadway in Rochester, for people who have tested positive for COVID-19. This procedure has been in place for 18 months.

Phase two (4-9 people in isolation)
The Rochester Community Warming Center, located at 200 4th St. SE in Rochester, will operate as a shelter for men and women in the men’s section, and an isolation center in the women’s section for those affected by COVID-19.

Phase three (10 or more people in isolation)
If more than nine people need isolation, the Rochester Community Warming Center will transition into an isolation center. Healthy individuals would temporarily transition to the Rochester Salvation Army, located at 20 1st Ave. NE.

Olmsted County employees will staff the isolation sites.