WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF)
The Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling has worked through the pandemic by following rules, limiting contact and finding creative ways to feed the hungry.
But now they’ve closed their doors for a week.
One staff member and a family member of theirs have come down with COVID -19, and the entire staff is now in quarantine.
They say this staff member always wore a mask, washed their hands and avoided public events.
But last week, they stopped coming to work because they just didn’t feel well.
And now the soup kitchen’s executive director Becky Shilling Rodocker says the staffer is very ill and so is one family member.
She says the staff member has a high fever, severe sweats, a dry cough that worsens and shortness of breath.
Shilling Rodocker says she feels certain the staffer didn’t get it at the Soup Kitchen, and didn’t infect anyone else.
Other staff members are all in quarantine and being tested.
She says so far no others have tested positive.
Their motto is engraved in their bench outside the door, “All Welcomed, All Served.”
They made advance plans so no one would go hungry in case this happened.
Shilling Rodocker says the food insecurity team has been meeting for months by phone and on Zoom, and they will make sure the void is filled.
The Soup Kitchen has been scaled back to takeout only, and only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday since March.
“But my message is that this is real,” said Shilling Rodocker. “It’s scary, it’s contagious, it’s painful. You never know where it’s coming from. It has been horrific. I don’t wish this on anyone. The Soup Kitchen just wants everyone to stay safe.”