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COVID-19 and Your Well being

People who find themselves homeless are liable to COVID-19.

Homeless companies are sometimes offered in congregate settings, which might facilitate the unfold of an infection. As a result of many people who find themselves homeless are older adults or have underlying medical situations, they could even be at elevated danger for extreme sickness.

Well being departments and healthcare amenities ought to be conscious that people who find themselves homeless are a very susceptible group. If doable, figuring out non-congregate settings the place these at elevated danger can keep might assist shield them from COVID-19.

How individuals experiencing homelessness can shield themselves

Most of the suggestions to stop COVID-19 could also be troublesome for an individual experiencing homelessness to do. Though it might not be doable to keep away from sure crowded areas (reminiscent of shelters), people who find themselves homeless ought to:

  • Attempt to keep away from different crowded public settings.
  • If doable, use take-away choices for meals.
  • Keep a distance of 6 toes (about two arms’ size) from different individuals.
  • Wash their palms with cleaning soap and water for no less than 20 seconds as typically as doable, and canopy their coughs and sneezes.

If individuals experiencing homelessness have signs

Any individual experiencing homelessness with signs in line with COVID-19  (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) ought to alert their service suppliers (reminiscent of case managers, shelter employees, and different care suppliers). These employees will assist the person perceive how one can isolate themselves and establish choices for medical care as wanted.

How one can get examined for COVID-19

In the event that they meet standards for testing, individuals experiencing homelessness will entry COVID-19 testing via a healthcare supplier.

Native public well being and healthcare amenities want to find out the perfect location for this testing in coordination with homeless healthcare clinics and road drugs clinics.

Anybody sick with COVID-19 ought to keep remoted

These with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 ought to keep in a spot the place they will greatest be remoted from different individuals to stop spreading the an infection. Native well being departments, housing authorities, homeless service techniques, and healthcare amenities ought to plan to establish areas to isolate these with recognized or suspected COVID-19 till they meet the standards to finish isolation.

Isolation housing might be items designated by native authorities or shelters decided to have capability to sufficiently isolate these individuals. If no different choices can be found, homeless service suppliers ought to plan for the way they can assist individuals isolate themselves whereas efforts are underway to supply further assist.

Donations of meals and clothes to homeless service suppliers

Homeless service suppliers can settle for donations of meals and clothes throughout neighborhood unfold of COVID-19, however normal an infection management precautions ought to be taken. Request that donors not donate if they’re sick.

  • Arrange donation drop-off factors to encourage social distancing between shelter staff and people donating.
  • Launder donated clothes, sheets, towels, or different materials on excessive warmth settings, and disinfect objects which are nonporous, reminiscent of objects manufactured from plastic.
  • Meals donations ought to be shelf-stable, and shelter employees ought to take typical food-related an infection prevention precautionsexterior icon.

Symptom screening of purchasers at homeless shelters

Homeless shelters can display purchasers for signs of respiratory infections.

Shoppers who’ve signs might or might not have COVID-19. Ensure they’ve a separate place they will safely keep throughout the shelter or at an alternate website in coordination with native well being authorities.  An on-site nurse or different medical employees can assist with medical assessments.

  • Present anybody who presents with signs with a masks.
  • Facilitate entry to non-urgent medical care as wanted.
  • Use normal facility procedures to find out whether or not a consumer wants speedy medical consideration. Emergency indicators embody:
    • Bother respiration
    • Persistent ache or stress within the chest
    • New confusion or incapability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

Notify the designated medical facility and personnel to switch purchasers that the consumer may need COVID-19.

Conserving open homeless shelters and encampments

Homeless shelters serve a vital operate in our communities. Shelters ought to keep open except homeless service suppliers, well being departments, and housing authorities have decided collectively {that a} shelter wants to shut.

Connecting individuals to steady housing ought to proceed to be a precedence.

  • Nonetheless, if particular person housing choices are usually not accessible, enable people who find themselves residing in encampments to stay the place they’re.
  • Encourage individuals residing in encampments to improve area between individuals and supply hygiene sources.

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