We provided the following message to residents of Shelburne yesterday (Saturday, March 21, 2020) via Front Porch Forum:

We have all heard that the most effective tool to stop the spread of the coronavirus is social distancing and washing hands. These prevention measures are virtually impossible for people living in a shelter, in an encampment, or on the streets. Without options for these prevention measures, we won’t be able to effectively control the spread of COVID-19 anywhere, or do what’s necessary to flatten the curve of those becoming sick.

Champlain Housing Trust is working with the State of Vermont and the UVM Medical Center to use the motel rooms at Harbor Place to provide isolation for those exhibiting symptoms of the virus, but not those who have tested positive. We are working with Town of Shelburne officials to address community concerns and protect public health.

Over the next week or so, the State will be establishing roughly 380 rooms across Vermont for people who are homeless and are exhibiting symptoms/presumptive positive cases, where hospital treatment is unnecessary but the individual needs to be isolated.

In addition, numerous Congregate Recovery Centers (CRC) will be established throughout the State. The CRC is a facility for medical respite/shelter for people who tested positive and/or are being released from the hospital for COVID-19 treatment. Harbor Place is NOT one of these centers, and any guests at Harbor Place testing positive for COVID-19 will be moved to a CRC or the Medical Center.

The sole purpose is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus more broadly.

What you should know:

  1. Current guests are being relocated to other motels in the region by the State.
  2. We are immediately prohibiting all visitors at Harbor Place
  3. We are planning for food for guests. We are still figuring out the best way for the community to help with this effort.
  4. We are adding security and fencing to help reinforce the need for guests to stay on site.

A more comprehensive management plan and protocols will be posted on our website and shared here in the next couple of days.

We understand that this may cause concern for some. Please know that we are responding quickly to this crisis because we fear by waiting we could see exactly what’s happening in Italy now. This is a concerted effort, coordinated by the State, to prevent the virus from spreading further.