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Atlanta-Area Homeless Shelters Take Measures To Protect Against Spread Of Coronavirus

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- Officials at many local homeless shelters say they are at full capacity, as the coronavirus pandemic continues, but most say they're doing what they can to continue providing a place of refuge for those who have nowhere else to go.

Atlanta Mission issued this statement in response to COVID-19:

"As Atlanta Mission continues to care for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness amidst concerns of COVID-19, the health and safety of our staff and clients are our top priority. Thankfully, we have no confirmed cases on any of our campuses at this time and are continuously taking proactive measures with adherence to CDC and DPH guidelines. We are confronting these uncertain times as a community united."

Brittany Stewart, a marketing associate with Atlanta Mission, says they are taking extreme sanitation measures by making sure the facilities are deep cleaned as much as possible.

"If a client has any symptoms at all, they're given face masks, immediately isolated and then transported to medical facilities," she said. "Thankfully, we haven't had any confirmed cases on any of our campuses at this time."

Stewart says they are currently not taking in new clients, but they have continued housing the 800 individuals they have and are at full capacity.

She also says they've asked any high risk staff, including those over 60 years of age, to work remotely, as other staff members take on more critical roles on the campuses.

Many shelters are providing COVID-19 updates on their websites.

Nicholas House posted this statement, in part, in response to the coronavirus:

"In addition to assisting families in apartments throughout Metro Atlanta, Nicholas House has a multi-level infection control plan at our Boulevard shelter location to limit or contain viruses based on CDC and HUD recommendations for shelters and ensure the health and safety for residents, staff and volunteers. There is no illness at the shelter and we are prepared and are using various prevention strategies, including screening for symptoms and mandatory handwashing for all who enter the shelter."

Jars of Clay Outreach indicated in its website that all locations are closed and they are not accepting any new shelter clients. They also provided instructions to call 211 for emergency housing.

MUST Ministries says they are coordinating a MUST FOOD Rapid Response program, distributing Family Food Boxes at 31 points around Cobb and Cherokee counties. For a list of distribution sites and how you can help, click here.

Atlanta Mission also provided information on how the public can help their organization by donating urgent needs, like masks, sanitizer, thermometers, personal hygiene items, cleaning products, education games for children, fresh foods and restaurant prepared meals. For information, click here.

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