17 residents of Urban Ministries of Durham test positive for COVID-19

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — On Monday, leadership with the Urban Ministries of Durham learned that a shelter resident tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials say the resident was moved to the isolation location for homeless individuals who test positive in Durham County. 

Two members of UMD’s workforce development team were likely exposed to the resident a week before, officials say. Both began working from home and were tested for COVID-19; one tested positive. That staff member is recovering, and public health officials told UMD that he can return to work next week.

After learning of the positive test, additional testing was performed and officials learned of 16 other positive cases of COVID-19 among its residents.

Those affected have been moved to the isolation location for homeless individuals testing positive.

UMD says that staff has completed extra cleaning and disinfection in the dormitories and café, and we have scheduled a company to conduct a deep cleaning tomorrow.

Public health officials have advised that all staff who have been on the Liberty Street campus since Oct. 22 should be tested by Nov. 5. They did not recommend that volunteers get tested.

“Durham County Public Health, management and Emergency Operations Center staff are fully engaged, as they have been throughout the pandemic, helping to support those who have tested positive and working to minimize additional infection,” said Drew Cummings, Durham County Chief of Staff and head of the Human Services Branch in the Emergency Operations Center.

UMD says it is working closely with these and other partners, including Duke medical staff, to mitigate any further spread.

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