Portland city manager closes Oxford Street shelter to new individuals after 2 test positive for COVID-19

Portland City Manager Jon Jennings announced Wednesday he is temporarily closing the Oxford Street Shelter and family shelter to new individuals after two people tested positive for COVID-19.One of those people managed to leave quarantine on Tuesday, city officials said.The woman was eventually tracked down by police in Massachusetts Wednesday morning and was sent to a local hospital.The woman had arrived at the Oxford Street shelter on March 25 and was placed into quarantine on March 28. Portland city spokesperson Jessica Grondin said she traveled to Massachusetts by taking the Amtrak Downeaster train from the Portland Transportation Center to Boston North Station. Grondin said she was told the woman was wearing personal protective equipment and sat in a car that had nobody else inside.”We have no ability to force someone to stay,” Jennings said at an emergency Portland City Council meeting on Wednesday.Meanwhile, the city of Portland is now using the Expo building as an additional quarantine space for the homeless.The Expo will house those who do not show any symptoms, according to Grondin. Those who are displaying symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus will remain at the Oxford Street Shelter.About 38 people stayed at the Expo Tuesday night.

Portland City Manager Jon Jennings announced Wednesday he is temporarily closing the Oxford Street Shelter and family shelter to new individuals after two people tested positive for COVID-19.

One of those people managed to leave quarantine on Tuesday, city officials said.

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The woman was eventually tracked down by police in Massachusetts Wednesday morning and was sent to a local hospital.

The woman had arrived at the Oxford Street shelter on March 25 and was placed into quarantine on March 28.

Portland city spokesperson Jessica Grondin said she traveled to Massachusetts by taking the Amtrak Downeaster train from the Portland Transportation Center to Boston North Station. Grondin said she was told the woman was wearing personal protective equipment and sat in a car that had nobody else inside.

“We have no ability to force someone to stay,” Jennings said at an emergency Portland City Council meeting on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the city of Portland is now using the Expo building as an additional quarantine space for the homeless.

The Expo will house those who do not show any symptoms, according to Grondin. Those who are displaying symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus will remain at the Oxford Street Shelter.

About 38 people stayed at the Expo Tuesday night.