COVID-19: Bethlehem Inn taking precautions to keep homeless residents healthy

Central Oregon’s largest homeless shelter is taking precautions to protect its residents.

The Bethlehem Inn has temporarily changed some rules, including allowing people to stay on site during the day if needed.

Staff is monitoring all residents for fever and cough and implementing extra measures to keep volunteers healthy.

“We’ve put in additional protocols, in terms of our meal periods,” said Gwen Wysling, executive director of the shelter. “We are doing different meal schedules so that we have a minimal number of people gathering in one place; so that keeps people safe.”

She said the Oregon Health Authority provides guidelines for shelters but admits those are still emerging.

As an emergency shelter, she says staff always work to keep things as clean and safe as possible for their vulnerable population.

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