To protect all of our most vulnerable citizens during this challenging time, the County of Orange is working with a diverse group of stakeholders including cities, nonprofits and faith-based organizations to prevent COVID-19 illnesses and outbreaks in persons experiencing homelessness. The information below provides guidance to assist our community partners in their COVID-19 response.
Recommendations for Homeless Shelters
All homeless shelters in Orange County should have a plan to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 into their facilities. This plan should include measures to assure adequate physical distancing, educate staff and clients about COVID-19, and respond to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. A summary of critical measures can be found in OCHCA’s Shelter COVID-19 Checklist.
Congregate living-style shelters (as opposed to dormitory or hotel-style shelters) should implement routine laboratory screening of staff and residents. This screening should be performed at least every four weeks, whether or not COVID-19 cases have recently been identified in the shelter, as long as COVID-19 continues to be present in Orange County. For specific recommendations, see Homeless Shelter COVID-19 Screening Guidance.
- OCHCA Public Health
- Shelter Guidance and Resources (4/9/20)
- Homeless Shelter - FAQ (4/9/20)
- CDCD Medical Director – Guidance Memo (3/24/20)
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council. COVID-19 Information for Homeless Shelters and Homeless Service Providers.
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
- CDC Interim Guidance for Homeless Shelters
- HUD Infectious Disease Toolkit for CoCs
- Preventing and Managing the Spread of Infectious Disease for People Experiencing Homelessness
- Preventing and Managing the Spread of Infectious Disease within Shelters
- Preventing and Managing the Spread of Infectious Disease within Encampments