OTTAWA -- The Shepherds of Good Hope says two clients and two individuals who previously stayed at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement to Newstalk 580 CFRA, President and CEO Deirdre Freiheit says on May 14, Shepherds of Good Hope was advised that an individual who had previously stayed in one of the shelter programs tested positive for COVID-19. The individual was last at the Shepherds of Good Hope one week prior to testing positive for COVID-19.

Freiheit says on May 15, all clients of the unit where the individual stayed were tested for COVID-19.

“Two asymptomatic individuals tested positive for COVID-19 and were immediately transferred to the Routhier Isolation Centre, along with their roommates,” Freiheit says.

“Subsequently, a fourth individual who had previously stayed at Shepherds of Good Hope tested positive on May 18 and was immediately transferred for proper isolation protocol.”

The Shepherds of Good Hope will not identify the individuals or the programs they were staying in to protect their identities.

Freiheit says following the advice of health partners, the Shepherds of Good Hope has implemented the following operational changes:

  • Onsite testing made available for all clients and staff
  • Clients and staff within the unit in question are asked to wear masks at all times
  • Clients have been asked to isolate within their rooms as much as possible
  • Meals are now served to clients’ rooms
  • Only authorized staff are permitted on the unit and must “don and doff” their personal protective equipment when entering and existing the unit.
  • The unit will not be accepting new referrals.

The Shepherds of Good Hope has been working with Ottawa Inner City Health, Ottawa Public Health, the City of Ottawa and its partners.

“Major changes have been made to all our programs to support clients to achieve greater physical distancing, increased hand hygiene and enhanced program cleaning,” writes Freiheit.

“All our staff are asked to practice universal precautions, including physical distancing, wearing personal protective equipment, frequent handwashing and self-monitoring for symptoms.

With files from Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Zach McGibbon