Kenilworth shelter’s 22-day quarantine

Staff member Mellissa Phanyaza wearing protective gear.

Residents and staff of a Kenilworth shelter for abused women and children have been in Covid-19 quarantine for three weeks.

This after a staff member and then later a resident at Sisters Incorporated tested positive for the virus.

Delene Roberts, the shelter’s manager, says they started quarantine on Wednesday November 26 when the staff member tested positive.

“Due to close contact with everyone, even residents, one staff member and two residents were taken for testing, and negative results were received.”

Then, just as the shelter was preparing to reopen in the first week of December, it was found that one of the residents had had a false-negative result, and the quarantine was extended.

The shelter has been decontaminated and is expected to reopen today, Thursday December 17, after 22 days of quarantine.

None of the shelter’s more than 25 residents could leave the premises during the quarantine.

“Two staff members remained on duty, as we basically had a full house of residents,” Ms Roberts said.

The manager did the weekly shopping, dropping the groceries outside.

“Provision was made for fresh fruit and vitamins to boost the immune systems of those still in the home,” she said.

The shelter has eight sanitising stations on the premises, and extra hand sanitisers and disinfectant wipes were given to residents and staff.

Ms Roberts said that while the quarantine had proved frustrating for both the residents and staff, it was a relief that no one else had fallen ill with the virus.

“Wearing masks and personal protective equipment, sponsored by a generous donor, played a huge role in keeping the staff safe,” she said.

The shelter gets some support from the Department of Social Development, but it relies on donors for various supplies and additional funding.

“This kind of support enables us to remain a beacon of hope, through Covid-19, but more so in the time of a crisis for a survivor of abuse,” Ms Roberts said, thanking all those who supported the shelter.

Visit sisters.org.za, email manager@sisters.org.za or call 021 797 4190 to find out more about the shelter and how you can help them.