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Norovirus outbreak temporarily closes Spokane House of Charity to new clients

They will monitor the rate of new infections and reopen for intakes once 48 hours have passed without any new infections.

SPOKANE, Wash. — House of Charity will temporarily close its doors to new clients after multiple cases of norovirus have been detected.

House of Charity Director of Communications Sarah Yerden said they are currently providing emergency sleeping services, self-contained meals and additional support to clients who are currently at the shelter.  

Yerden said they will follow Spokane Regional Health District's recommendations to monitor the rate of new infections and re-open for intakes once 48 hours have passed without any new infections.

In addition to SRHD protocols, they divided the shelter into different sections to ensure that clients experiencing symptoms can be fully separated from healthy clients.  They are currently using the main floor and several small rooms for isolation and quarantine areas.

After a norovirus outbreak in 2016, House of Charity created systems to prevent and mitigate infectious disease outbreaks in shelters that include quarantine dorms. These are not needed at this time due to the response by staff.  

SRHD said norovirus is a common, non-life threatening virus. Symptoms of the virus include, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, fever, headaches and body aches. 

Yerden added that staff are using a Clorox 360 machine and preparing bleach treatments throughout the shelter multiple times a day. Social distancing protocols are in place throughout the facility. All COVID-19 protocols continue to be followed, with mask requirements for both staff and patrons and enhanced PPE implementation.  


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