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Homeless man who stayed at Las Vegas shelters positive for COVID-19

Updated March 25, 2020 - 6:46 pm

A homeless man who received services at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and the city of Las Vegas’ Courtyard Homeless Resource Center has tested positive for COVID-19, the Southern Nevada Health District announced Wednesday.

The man accessed services at both facilities, which are each located at the intersection of Foremaster Lane and Las Vegas Boulevard North, while he was symptomatic, the district said in a news release. He is now asymptomatic and no longer considered at risk of exposing others, it said.

The health district is working with the agencies to notify staff, volunteers and clients of their possible exposure to this individual. They are being provided with information on signs and symptoms to look for, and instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms of COVID-19, the district said.

As a precaution, Catholic Charities is temporarily closing its emergency night shelter, which sleeps more than 500 men. It’s working with the city of Las Vegas and the health district to identify a temporary site to relocate shelter services and is taking steps to ensure the continuing health and safety of its staff, volunteers and clients, according to the release.

Last week, the nonprofit sent a letter to its volunteers that one employee had tested positive for the virus, and several others had been quarantined.

In a release Wednesday night, Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin said that an effort between the county and homeless providers “will provide space for approximately 750 people to sleep.”

Juan Salinas, social services director at the Salvation Army on Owens Avenue, said the nonprofit was able to open an additional shelter downstairs, enough to hold 90 sleeping mats.

Jace Radke, a spokesman for the city of Las Vegas, said that the district is coordinating screening of people at the Courtyard who may have come into contact with the man who tested positive.

“The city is also working with Clark County and local homeless providers to expand the Courtyard operations onto Foremaster Lane to aid and expedite the screening process for those who may have been in contact with this individual,” he said in a statement.

Catholic Charities was not immediately available for comment.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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