A 26-year old man is Miami’s first homeless individual to pass away from COVID-19
April 18, 2020 – Miami, FL - The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, and its public-private partner, Chapman Partnership, regretfully announce the death of a resident of the Chapman South Homeless Assistance Center in Homestead, Florida. The 26-year old male is the first known homeless individual in Miami-Dade County to fall victim to the virus. Records show he visited Chapman’s health clinic yesterday to seek care. He presented with a fever and was taken immediately to Jackson South. He passed away a few hours later. Next of kin was notified by the hospital.
“We are devastated and crushed. I am so proud of the work we are doing, which makes this news incredibly difficult to swallow. Our role is not to lose the lives of anyone from this very fragile and compromised population,” said Ron Book, Chair of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. “Our deepest sympathies go out to this young man’s family, who really lost their son, brother, and friend first to homelessness and now to this. His death strengthens our resolve to get more COVID-19 tests in hand so we can fight harder and smarter to slow the spread of the virus within our sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations."
The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust Continuum of Care includes more than 8,000 individuals experiencing homelessness and another 1,020 unsheltered; seven have tested positive for COVID-19.
In keeping with CDC guidance, the entire Chapman South facility is receiving expanded deep cleaning to mitigate the spread of the virus. The shelter will continue aggressive prevention tactics such as:
- Continuous masks and gloves distribution to all staff and residents at both North and South centers as supplies become available; masks and gloves are worn at all times in common areas.
- Any resident identifying themselves as having symptoms, or observed to be demonstrating symptoms, are referred to the onsite medical clinic.
- Residents and employees at Chapman practice social distancing and social distancing badges are worn by all residents and staff as a constant reminder.
- Mass communication of COVID-19 education to all staff and residents continues.
- Continuous and constant hand-washing and use of hand sanitizer stations available throughout the campuses.
- Frequent deep cleaning and bleaching of all door handles and surfaces.
- Placement of at-risk residents from both North and South centers to secure off-site housing.
Reconfiguration of dorm spaces for more efficient social distancing.