Shigella assessments and triage added to Edmonton’s encampment response
November 23, 2022

Radius Community Health & Healing, formerly Boyle McCauley Health Centre, will support the City’s encampment response to help address the ongoing Shigella outbreak. The City’s Encampment Response Team, with support from the Edmonton Police Service, will connect with Radius when they encounter people living in encampments who are demonstrating symptoms of Shigella to ensure they get access to testing and treatment.

“This is an important step forward in our efforts to protect Edmonton’s most vulnerable residents,” said Andre Corbould, City Manager. “People experiencing homelessness face significant health risks, especially when they lack proper sanitation during a Shigella outbreak.”

As part of the ongoing response to Shigella, encampment closures that were scheduled for November 9 were delayed by two weeks to help respond to localized outbreaks. With this new partnership in place, these encampment closures will resume on Wednesday, November 23.

“Our role is to keep everyone safe during encampment closures,” said Acting Chief Devin Laforce, Edmonton Police Service. “This multi-agency, partnered approach ensures that when encampments need to be closed, we are able to provide the safest, smoothest and most dignified experience possible for those who are living there.”

“We need to ensure that those who are sick get the treatment they need,” said Tricia Smith, Executive Director, Radius Community Health & Healing, “in the midst of a Shigella outbreak, we can help provide access to those health supports.”

To help prevent the spread of Shigella, the City of Edmonton has provided additional funding to extend the operation of temporary mobile washrooms that were set up in May 2022. Operations for five washrooms were extended and two new locations were added. Showers and laundry services are also being installed at two locations.

If Edmontonians encounter someone in distress, they can:
  • Call 911 for someone in serious distress or in cases of emergency. 
  • Call 211 and press 3, for 24/7 Crisis Diversion non-emergency support for shelter, intoxication and mental health concerns.
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