Homeless shelters adjusting some operations amid coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The number of people at homeless shelters across the metro are seemingly unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, but some operations and services have changed.

Lisa Huval with the Department of Family and Community Services said they have not seen a spike in guests at any of their shelters since the first COVID-19 cases were announced earlier this month.

Huval said in February they had more than 400 people per night at their largest site, the Westside Emergency Housing Center, and in early March they saw between 350 to 400 people a night.

She said those numbers are consistent with the numbers they experienced at the same time last year. Huval said as the weather gets warmer, they tend to see fewer people. 

However, she said the staff is doing everything they can to ensure they’re preventing the spread of the virus. 

“Following CDC guidelines for shelters and other facilities like that. So sanitizing and cleaning hard surfaces regularly, certainly screening twice a day,โ€ said Huval. โ€œAnd lots of work went into setting up isolations units, so if folks do have COVID-19, they have a safe place where they can recover.”  

She also said they are offering two community service centers for people ages 62 and older. But says people have to go through the Westside Emergency Housing Center to go to those sites.  

Huval said they have had no confirmed cases of coronavirus at the westside shelter or at the eight other sites.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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