WINDSOR ONT -- The Downtown Mission is reporting 11 staff members and six guests have tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, all auxiliary programs with the exception of its shelter and meal program will be suspended effectively until the outbreak is contained.

With approximately 31 people still awaiting test results, this is the first covid-19 outbreak at the mission says executive director Reverend Ron Dunn.

“The truth of it is we always assumed that it was inevitable, despite our best efforts.”

The Mission says it has been diligently following COVID-19 safety protocols, but will double its efforts and enhance cleaning to provide a safe space.

Dunn says the six shelter guests who have tested positive are now self-isolating at City of Windsor’s Isolation Recovery Centre.

“In many cases the guests have no other family, so to see them I suffering and dealing with the possible effects of COVID is difficult for us.”

The shelter’s security team has been greatly reduced by this outbreak. Dunn says out of its nine team members, only two are working, the rest have tested positive or are showing symptoms while awaiting test results.

“At points of the day, I’m like well how are we going to operate this program or that program,” Dunn questioned.

The Mission is asking the community for continued support during this challenging time.