The City of Toronto’s continued operation of homeless shelters with shared sleeping areas defies widespread acknowledgement that COVID-19 can effectively spread via airborne transmission, say health experts and advocates for people experiencing homelessness.

There are concerns that shelter users sleeping in those environments face a heightened risk of transmitting or contracting the novel coronavirus.

“We should be deeply concerned that shelters are still being operated like this,” said Zoe Dodd, who works with Toronto’s homeless population through the Overdose Prevention Society.