No new COVID-19 cases at homeless encampment in Sudbury
This week in Sudbury, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 in Memorial Park, where there is a growing encampment of homeless people.
Amanda Robichaud, director and chaplain of the Elgin Street Mission, said news of the outbreak is another worry the pandemic has caused for homeless people.
"You look around the park, anyone who has driven by sees new tents popping up all the time and it's really hard to socially distance when you are trying to stay warm, when you have a few people in a tent," said Robichaud.
A testing clinic was set up in the park Thursday, said Gail Spencer, Sudbury's coordinator of shelters and homelessness.
"Community paramedics were set up at Memorial Park so that we could offer testing to anybody who wanted to be swabbed," Spencer said.
"There was a good number of people swabbed and we are happy to say all those tests results have come back negative (Friday)."
The city confirms it has temporary accommodations available for homeless people to self isolate and be treated for COVID-19.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, the city has put in place a process where people who are experiencing homelessness can be isolated through a local motel," said Spencer.
"We have our outreach van that will transport people safely to the isolation motel if they've tested positive for COVID, or if they have symptoms of COVID, so that they can be tested."
One man we talked to in the park who did not want to appear on camera said that many addicts are more concerned about getting their next fix to avoid getting sick from withdrawals than contracting COVID-19.