WINCHESTER — Winchester Rescue Mission is preparing to open an emergency shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness or who have become displaced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

According to mission press release, the goal is to provide shelter, food and personal protection supplies to individuals during the government directive to shelter in place to prevent the spread of the virus. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered people to stay at home until June 10.

The mission is hopeful that the shelter will be open and ready to use by April 20, the release said.

Shelter space has been donated by Shenandoah University and will be located in the former armory building on campus.

Winchester Rescue Mission is working with university and local officials to ensure the space meets all regulations and to prepare the building for occupancy, the release said.

All guests will be screened using the Centers for Disease Control screening guidelines including the taking of temperatures daily. The space provides for quarantine space for asymptomatic individuals who present with possible COVID-19 exposure. Should an individual present with symptoms, alternative off-site quarantine space will be utilized in coordination with local officials.

The release said the shelter will be able to house up to 45 individuals, and each guest will be provided three meals a day, have access to showers and restrooms and receive personal hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment supplies.

The opening of the shelter is a collaborative partnership of the Winchester Rescue Mission, Continuum of Care Redevelopment & Housing Authority, City of Winchester and Frederick County.

For more information, visit the Winchester Rescue Mission Facebook page to receive the most up-to-date information on the progress of the COVID-19 Emergency Shelter as well as the other Winchester Rescue Mission programs that are assisting people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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