Lessons Learned through Implementing SARS-CoV-2 Testing and Isolation for People Experiencing Homelessness in Congregate Shelters

Online Publication Date:
January 7, 2022
Publication Status:
Published Article MUSE Link:
Manuscript PDF File:

**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) volume 16.2S. All rights reserved.**
Background: The Denver COVID-19 Joint Task Force is a multi-sector community partnership which formed to coordinate Denver’s pandemic response in people experiencing homelessness (PEH).
Objectives: Describe how interdisciplinary community partners collaborated to develop, implement, and pilot SARS-CoV-2 testing and isolation protocols in congregate shelters, and discuss lessons learned and subsequently applied.
Methods: In March-May 2020, community partners collaborated to design, implement and conduct pilot testing paired with isolation in a subset of PEH at a congregate shelter to assess feasibility and inform protocol development.
Results/Lessons Learned: We performed SARS-CoV-2 testing in 52 PEH with 14 (27%) testing positive or inconclusive. Thirteen (93%) of positive or inconclusive participants were transferred to isolation hotels with 9 of 13 (69%) transferred within 72 hours of testing.
Conclusions: Our findings informed development of COVID-19 surveillance testing and isolation protocols for PEH and highlight the value of community partnerships in nimbly responding to the pandemic.