Devonport House staff prevent a coronavirus outbreak

published on 24 Jun 2020

The quick thinking staff at our Salvation Army homelessness centre in Plymouth have been praised by the city council for stopping a coronavirus outbreak among residents.

One person staying at the Devonport House Lifehouse on Park Avenue tested positive for coronavirus on Friday 19 June and was immediately moved into a self-contained flat in the grounds of the centre to self-isolate.

The flat had been deep-cleaned in advance by the forward-planning staff and kept empty in case it would be needed and the centre was placed into quarantine while residents and staff were tested for coronavirus.

During that period, staff at the centre continued to support residents with public health guidance, such as regular hand washing, increased cleaning and PPE being made available for staff and residents. 

On 22 June, test results for all the other residents and staff at the centre showed no-one had caught the virus and as there had not been an outbreak of the coronavirus at Devonport House, public health officials announced that it did not need to remain under quarantine.

“As with all potential outbreaks, Plymouth City Council worked as part of a multi-agency team to support The Salvation Army in ensuring all necessary actions were taken to reduce the risk of the virus spreading at Devonport House. This included the testing of staff and residents. We are very pleased that there was only one positive test and that quick action at Devonport House ensured this did not become an outbreak.
Ruth Harrell, Director of Public Health for Plymouth City Council

“As lockdown restrictions are eased further it remains important to remember that cases are still occurring and that everyone needs to remain vigilant and follow the guidance on staying safe. This includes maintaining a safe distance, washing hands frequently, avoiding touching your face and wearing face coverings in confined public spaces where possible.”

Devonport House is a Salvation Army Lifehouse which provides supported residential housing for men and women aged 18 and over in Plymouth who have experienced homelessness.

On average, people stay at the centre for 18 months during which time they receive support to rebuild their lives and move on into more long-term homes.

“I’m incredibly proud of Karl Trevis, the centre manager at Devonport House Lifehouse and his hard-working team who go the extra mile 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to provide the highest level of care for the people we support. Their forward-thinking and prompt action undoubtedly helped prevent a coronavirus outbreak at Devonport House Lifehouse and potentially saved lives.
Yvonne Connolly, Regional Manager for The Salvation Army’s Homelessness Services Unit for Wales and the West.

“I’m also very grateful for the support we received from partner organisations in the city during this time including Plymouth City Council, Plymouth City Council’s health department, the Plymouth Complex Needs Alliance as well as the Harbour Centre.”