LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, the largest homeless shelter in Las Vegas, has reopened after a homeless man tested positive for COVID-19.
The shelter will now only have 250 beds available to comply with social distancing guidelines. Previously, approximately 500 beds were available.
“Preference will be given to the disabled, the physically challenged and the seniors and we will begin check in as we always do at 3 pm,” said Deacon Tom Robert, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.
Staff at Catholic Charities will check for fever and any coronavirus symptoms before allowing anyone inside.
“Southern Nevada Health District will train our staff on health screening as well for these protocols. For today, southern Nevada Health District will be onsite to manage that medical screening process,” said Robert.
Any homeless person who shows symptoms will be housed in a separate part of Catholic Charities.
In the meantime, outdoor facilities to house homeless people who test positive for coronavirus are being built at Cashman Field.
“We will monitor all clients in the shelter who may become symptomatic over the evening. They will be transferred to a temporary isolation dorm here on the property until we can work with the health district to arrange for transportation to a proper intermediate site,” said Robert.
County officials are looking at vacant hotels and motels as a possible option for any homeless person who recovers from the virus.
“Those that do test positive and complete the isolation process, we don’t want to put them back on the street. So our goal is to transition them into, as an example, motels and programs so we can support their structure,” said Kevin Schiller, Clark County assistant manager.
Clark County Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said the situation is constantly changing.
Kirkpatrick said county officials will attempt to hold a briefing once a week to update the public on the latest information.