The City of Santa Rosa and Catholic Charities are responding to positive cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 at the Samuel Jones Hall Homeless Shelter (SJH). Catholic Charities, which operates SJH, first became aware of a potential exposure last Friday when two individuals who had been staying at the shelter tested positive for the variant.
Following protocols that are in place for COVID-19 shelter exposures, SJH was closed to new shelter intakes on Friday and Catholic Charities immediately reached out to the Sonoma County Department of Public Health to quickly implement testing of all current shelter residents and staff members. To date, 27 shelter residents have tested positive for the Delta variant and an additional 43 tests results are still pending and are expected to be returned this week. Shelter residents who have tested positive are being housed in the adjacent SJH Shelter Annex, which has been reserved as an isolation area for shelter residents who test positive.
Of those individuals who have tested positive, the majority had not been vaccinated, which underscores the need for all community members to get vaccinated and for those who have not been vaccinated to continue to wear face coverings.
The City, working closely with Catholic Charities and the Sonoma County Department of Public Health, will continue to follow its established protocols and procedures in response to the exposure and will keep SJH closed to new shelter intakes for a minimum of two weeks after the last confirmed positive test result. In the meantime, Public Health officials are providing additional education to COVID-positive individuals about what to expect and the importance of staying isolated until cleared through testing. Testing will continue to occur at SHJ every 5-6 days to monitor and manage potential spread.
Updated information will be provided as it becomes available.