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Nearly all organizations have felt the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in some shape or form. Safe-T — an area nonprofit that provides support and advocacy for abuse victims — may be feeling it more than others after a client and an employee tested positive for the virus roughly three weeks ago.

“A client who had been at our shelter for a decent amount of time, like about a week, tested positive,” Safe-T executive director Ryan Shriver said. “Then a staff member came down positive, and ironically we got their test results back on the same day.”

As soon as the nonprofit realized what had happened, it took action, Shriver said. and they couldn’t work with any clients other than those who were already there.

Some staff members remained quarantined at the hotel with clients to help them, Shriver added.

Though no other clients or staff members tested positive for the coronavirus during the period of quarantine, Shriver said there were some scares, where employees would display some symptoms. They were taken off of active duty for a period of quarantining as well as a precaution.

Logistically, the outbreak presented several problems for the area nonprofit, with fewer staff members available to manage operations. Even more trying, however, was the economic cost associated with the outbreak.

“That was an unexpected $18,000 we had to spend,” Shriver said. “That was to put the clients in hotel rooms, transportation costs, additional food costs because we couldn’t go in, there were some supplies we had to order out such as hygienics and other things of that nature.

“We also had to pay for hotel rooms for a couple staff because they were willing to cook and maintain the services in the hotel rooms for clients, but they didn’t feel comfortable with going back home because they lived with family members who had preexisting conditions.”

To ensure that such situations don’t occur, Safe-T takes temperatures of all clients and staff twice per day, staff use personal protective equipment, all surfaces and appliances are disinfected regularly and night staff use UV lights to thoroughly disinfect common areas each night.

“As much as it is possible for us to chase down the virus, we work to do so,” Shriver said. “We do as much as we can and I don’t know what else we can do. If they’re not symptomatic or they’re pre-symptomatic, we don’t really have the ability to screen for them.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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