The City of Greeley, in partnership with Weld County and the Good Samaritan Society – Bonell will open a temporary personal isolation facility for recovering COVID-19 patients to help reduce the demand for beds in local hospitals.
During a special meeting on Monday evening, Greeley City Council voted to partner with Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment and Good Samaritan Society – Bonell to make this critically important facility a reality and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As the number of COVID-19 cases grow so does the need for local hospital beds. Greeley hospital officials and Weld County public health experts anticipate a need for alternative care facilities for patients whose conditions have improved enough to care for themselves, but need a place to recover without endangering themselves or others — otherwise, they remain at the hospital occupying bed space needed for critically ill patients.
However, some patients may not have the option to care for themselves in isolation due to numerous factors — including homelessness, residing in congregate care settings such as community corrections or group homes, or possibly endangering other vulnerable people.
To help address this public health concern, The Good Samaritan Society – Bonell leased an unoccupied 30-unit apartment building on its campus to Weld County to provide temporary shelter for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 who cannot isolate safely in their current living situation. The City of Greeley will support the management of the facility and maintain services in the building through early June. For safety, a quarantine order will require facility residents to isolate in their apartments and prohibit any visitors.
Weld County Health Department Director Dr. Mark Wallace will review referrals from local hospitals, homeless shelters, and community corrections to identify individuals who can benefit the most from the temporary housing solution while they recover from the virus. The temporary placement is only available to those 18 and older. Dr. Wallace anticipates the average length of stay will be seven to 10 days. Weld County public health officials will collaborate with community agencies to make a discharge plan for each individual.
“This partnership is a testament to the willingness of our community to unite and rally together to offer solutions that help keep the entire Greeley community healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Greeley Mayor John Gates. “I’m tremendously grateful for the leadership of the various partners who have banded together to make this happen. Its times like this, when things are unpredictable, that we see the best in community, people, and leadership.”
“The Good Samaritan Society - Bonell has served the area for more than 80 years, and now more than ever, we are called to share our mission with the community,” said Ryan Mertz, administrator at the Good Samaritan Society. “We’re proud to partner with the city and county and do our part to advance the health and well-being of Weld County residents during this challenging time.”
JBS Swift in Greeley donated $90,000 to The City of Greeley to assist in covering operational costs of the new COVID-19 Personal Isolation Facility. Anyone interested in helping support the needs and services of the facility should contact Dan Frazen, Emergency Manager at Dan.Frazen@Greeleygov.com.