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Deep cleaning underway at 2 Sacramento warming shelters after staff member contracts COVID

The closures, at the Library Galleria and the South Side Pool House, were prompted after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Three others were symptomatic.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Crews began deep cleaning at two Sacramento warming centers when they were forced to close on Thursday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The staff member who received the positive test worked at both warming centers – the Library Galleria located at 828 I Street and the and Southside Pool House located at 2107 6th Street. Officials said the two warming centers will have to remain closed Friday as a result.

Three other staff members are quarantining after they started showing symptoms of the virus. Those staff members have been tested and were still awaiting the results as of noon.

On Friday, officials opened a free testing site at Cesar Chavez Park for staff members, volunteers, and anyone who utilized the warming centers who thinks they may have been exposed. According to Tim Swanson, the Media and Communications Manager for the City of Sacramento, as of noon, 11 volunteers and 22 others have been tested.

“[Testing] at the park will be offered so long as there is a need for it and supplies to conduct the tests,” Swanson said in an email to ABC10.

The city was first notified about the staff member’s positive test on Thursday. Swanson said he is unaware if that was the same day the staff member tested positive, however.

The Library Galleria has the capacity for 65 to 70 guests. The Southside Pool House can hold 16 guests. The number of volunteers can vary from night-to-night, but the average is around eight volunteers per night, Swanson said.

"We will be following up quickly with contact tracing and testing for staff, volunteers and guests," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg in a statement on Thursday. "I will continue pressing for the Galleria to reopen as soon as safely possible and also will keep working with our community partners to open additional sites."

Sacramento County Public Health (SCPH) is the lead agency on contact tracing. The City has given them all its sign-in information for volunteers and guests, Swanson said.

On Thursday night, the City utilized the safe parking site at the City Hall Parking Garage, located at the corner of 10th Street and I Street, as an alternative. It is unclear how long this site will remain the alternative.

In a press release issued Friday evening, the City said Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby, Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, and City Manager Howard Chan, who worked at Library Galleria warming center during the exposure period, all tested negative for the coronavirus. 

Steinberg, who recently worked at the center, tested negative as well. Councilmember Mai Vang is waiting for test results.

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