Norovirus quarantine still in place at House of Charity - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Norovirus quarantine still in place at House of Charity

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A norovirus outbreak at the House of Charity has sickened 60 people, including members of the shelter's staff. No one else has been sickened as of Monday and Health Department workers say they're now starting to get a handle on the spreading virus. However, the daunting sight of tents set up outside isn't going away. There should be more information on Tuesday on when the tents might come down.

People sleeping in the tents say they're just glad they haven't gotten sick. "I'd rather be inside but not while this is going on," said Everett Stewart. Stewart says he's been outside the House of Charity for the entire weekend, sleeping inside one of the tents. "They're warm, some of them are warm, but it does get a little bit chilly at nighttime so you just got to stay warm," said Stewart.

Though, Stewart says sleeping outside is better than what's happening inside the House of Charity. "I'm just glad that I didn't catch it because the way things are going, it really turns somebody's stomach up and makes them upset," said Stewart.

The workers have been wearing masks to protect themselves from the sickness, trying to avoid any contact. "It makes you wonder why this happened," said Stewart. While we still don't know what's caused this sickness, health workers say norovirus is normally the leading cause of illness and outbreak from contaminated food.

Stewart says he's grateful that everyone is helping each other out. "I think they are doing the best they can," said Stewart.

If you happen to be down near House of Charity, you'll see people wearing masks for their own protection. Health officials say that the risk to people who live and work downtown is extremely low, although they are asking people to avoid the area of Pacific and Brown until the outbreak is contained. 

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