Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) continues to address the challenges of COVID-19 in our community. We recognize residents experiencing homelessness may have unique needs and are not always able to follow general public health recommendations of social distancing and isolation.
MCPH along with homeless advocacy, housing, and human services partners have taken a collaborative approach to ensure recommendations and procedures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. MCPH has been in contact with each facility that provides services to those experiencing homelessness and has provided public health recommendations including the following:
- Implementing screening to discuss symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) prior to providing services.
- Procedures to isolate symptomatic individuals.
- Prevention and hygiene practices for clients and staff.
- Physical distancing options.
In addition to shelters and service providers, homeless service providers recognize there is a population of residents experiencing homelessness who live in encampments and do not access traditional sheltering services. Public health recommendations for those in a non-shelter setting include increased distancing recommendations (tents/sleeping quarters set with at least 12 feet of space per individual), ensuring nearby restroom facilities have water and are stocked with hand hygiene materials and other preventive measures. There are significant challenges to meet these public health recommendations and fortunately for our community, we have a group of dedicated professionals who are in constant communication to brainstorm solutions.
The community response and collaboration happening to ensure all Mesa County residents have the information and resources they need to navigate these challenging times should be recognized. We are fortunate to have strong community partners, willing to come together to aid in the prevention and spread of COVID-19.
Mesa County Public Health guidance for Homeless Assistance Providers can be found here.