BOISE — Out of 200 tests conducted on Boise’s homeless community over the weekend, 11 came back positive.
Boise Rescue Mission CEO Bill Roscoe sent a statement to the Idaho Press late Monday evening confirming positive cases at one of his two shelters in Ada County, but he did not identify if it was at the River of Life Men’s Shelter or the City Light Home for Women.
Roscoe said a guest at the shelter was taken to the hospital last Thursday and diagnosed with COVID-19. The same day every guest and staff person at the shelter was tested and “several” guests who had been in the same dorm, and one additional guest, tested positive.
“We are disappointed that the virus has crept into the Rescue Mission family, and we are doing everything that we can to contain it and stop any spread,” Roscoe wrote in the statement. “I am confident that our Guests and staff are as safe as they can be, are monitored as necessary, our buildings are staying clean and sanitized and everyone will receive all of the support that they need.”
Jodi Peterson-Stigers, director of Interfaith Sanctuary and manager of the site where positive homeless residents are isolating, later confirmed there were 11 cases in the homeless community. She said Monday none of the cases were at Interfaith Sanctuary.
In order to slow the spread of the virus, Boise Rescue Mission is “returning” to its policy of not allowing guests at the shelter to leave for the day for 14 days. The shelter system adopted this policy during Little’s stay-home order earlier in the pandemic, but it is unknown when these policies were rescinded.
As of Monday, Peterson-Stigers said two of those infected were staying at the VA Medical Center in Boise, but the severity of their condition is unknown.