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Approximately 255 Siena Francis House residents in quarantine after COVID-19 outbreak

Approximately 255 Siena Francis House residents in quarantine after COVID-19 outbreak

The Siena Francis House has about 255 residents in quarantine or isolation because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Executive Director Linda Twomey said that residents have been in quarantine or isolation for about two weeks. The center is in daily contact with the Douglas County Health Department on steps to take, she said.

At latest count, 54 of those individuals had active cases of COVID-19, and they are in isolation, she said. Some of those cases are people who tested positive in the community but had no place to stay, so they were sent to the shelter.

The shelter has sent about 25 people off campus to quarantine because their underlying health issues made them especially vulnerable to COVID-19. Those people are still getting help from the shelter in partnership with the Open Door Mission.

The shelter has been testing its clients and noticed a surge in positivity rates about 10 days to two weeks ago, she said.

About 35% of the shelter’s tests are coming back positive. That’s similar to the positivity rate for tests of the general public in Douglas County — 31% at latest count.

Twomey estimated that about 100 residents left the shelter rather than quarantine. For the time being, the shelter is closed to new admissions. Siena Francis House is working with other shelters to find housing for those in need.

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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Email:

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