BOONE – Northwest North Carolina Hospitality House, working with High Country Community Health and AppHealthCare, announced on May 24th that the facility is currently managing an active group of COVID-19 positive cases, both in shelters and camps.
AppHealthCare’s May 21st COVID-19 situation report said the outbreak has a total of 15 cases, 15 of which are active. The last positive result was on May 19th, according to the report.
In accordance with internal protocols, the family wing on Brook Hollow Road is currently used as an isolation and quarantine area for those living in the location.
For the time being, the Hospitality House will restrict access to this facility to employees, residents currently living there, and interns. In addition, all new persons seeking access to the Emergency Shelter or Night-by-Night Shelter programs must provide evidence of a negative PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test result within the last 72 hours.
Rapid tests and PCR tests are currently carried out on site every Tuesday afternoon.
Individuals and families currently homeless in Ashe, Wilkes, Avery, Watauga, Mitchell, Yancey, and Alleghany counties should call (828) 264-1237 and speak to Outreach Coordinator Logan Shaut. Individuals and families currently at risk of losing their housing and becoming homeless should call (828) 264-1237 and speak to Homeless Prevention and Diversion Coordinator Marnie Slawson.
“We are taking these necessary steps to protect our customers and the community,” explains Tina Krause, General Manager of the Hospitality House. “Our diligence regarding hygiene, masking and social distancing kept the coronavirus away from us for fourteen months. Unfortunately, like many companies in the highlands, we are now dealing with this in our doors. “
Non-resident community members using the Hospitality House Day services – meals, showers, laundry, computers, telephones, lockers, and medical supplies – will not have access to the facility until further notice. The laundry room, public computer, laundry and telephone are not accessible during this time.
Samaritan’s North American Disaster Unit of North Wilkesboro has temporarily installed a portable shower unit in the parking lot, and two outdoor port-a-johns are available for non-residents.
“We are grateful for the quick response and partnership of the Samaritan Purse Disaster Relief Unit to secure showers and sanitary facilities on site for our customers who live outside,” said Krause.
Hospitality House previously ran an on-site vaccination clinic in collaboration with High Country Community Health and was in the planning stage to provide weekly on-site vaccinations via AppHealthCare when the cluster was identified.
“We have worked to ensure that our residents have the opportunity to be vaccinated,” said Krause. “However, with night bed sales, it was challenging when people come and go. We look forward to offering vaccines locally once this cluster is behind us. “
Grab-n-Go meals from the Hospitality House Community Kitchen will continue to be served in take-out containers throughout the day along with coffee, bottled water and disposable cutlery on the porch for those in need of a hot meal.
The Emergency Food Pantry remains open seven days a week from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. only as a transit service. Customers who have access to the pantry should remain in their vehicle and always wear a mask.
“We remain steadfast in our mission and advocate the health, safety and wellbeing of the homeless people in our Seven Mountain Region,” said Todd Carter, chief development director of the Hospitality House. We are grateful for the collaborations and partnerships that enable us to continue to offer these necessary services. “
Community members who wish to donate towels, washcloths, shampoo, toiletries, blankets and other items are asked to shop at the Hospitality House Amazon Wishlist HospHouse.org/wishlist or to drop items at a table on the rear loading bay and then call the front desk (828)) 264-1237 ext. 0 make an employee aware of their donation.
Current updates and help options can be found at HospHouse.org/covid19 or on social media Facebook / Instagram / TikTok: @hosphouse; Twitter @HospHouseNWNC.
Financial donations can be made at HospHouse.org/donate or Venmo @hosphouse; CashApp $ hosphouse or PayPal.me/hosphouse.