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Mission: Create and Operate an Isolation and Quarantine Shelter

Erie County, PA
Program Year: 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 brought a host of unprecedented challenges to everyone. Chief among the challenges for the Erie County Department of Health (ECDH) was how to instill the habits of properly isolating and quarantining infected individuals – particularly those in underserved populations – to help mitigate the spread of the virus. Many residents did not have an adequate place to convalesce. ECDH met this need by enlisting a small team of two county employees to establish an Isolation and Quarantine (I&Q) shelter that would transport, monitor and safely house those infected with and/or awaiting results from a COVID-19 test.Establishing a shelter was aimed at reducing communal spread of the virus to other members of society. This was accomplished by utilizing a local hotel and donations from the Second Harvest Food Bank to assure those brought in for isolation or quarantine were both housed and fed as they recovered from COVID-19.The I&Q shelter was established in 2020 and continues as of this writing. Its initial design has been adopted by other entities such as colleges and other organizations that provide shelter to society’s vulnerable.

Mr. Thaddeus Fred Plasczynski
Director, Veterans Affairs