Cold weather shelter reopened Thursday

Shelter was previously closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak among clients

(File photo/Daily Herald)

The city’s cold weather shelter, Stepping Stones reopened for clients on Thursday evening.

The shelter had to close its doors after seven out of 20 clients tested positive for COVID-19, forcing clients and staff into self-isolation.

Public health tested clients at the shelter on Dec. 2 and later moved into isolation hotels if they didn’t have a safe place to isolate.

YWCA Prince Albert CEO Donna Brooks said that staff had to isolate for 14 days and that’s why the shelter couldn’t reopen sooner.

“Everything happened all at once. It was a lot of people to get into the assisted isolation at the hotels quickly. There was probably a few things in there that didn’t go that smooth but overall it went good. We also learned for next time how to make it a little smoother,” Brooks said.

She added that lines of communication between the YWCA, public health, social services, and mobile crisis are all there now.

Stepping Stones is located on the exhibition grounds underneath the grandstand. It’s open from 6 p.m. until 10 a.m. and has 20 beds available for clients. The space is cleaned and sanitized after clients leave and everyone is required to wear masks.