Answering Questions about COVID-19 and Homeless Shelter Planning

Updated 02-28-2020

King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) and its Housing, Homelessness and Community Development Division (HHCDD) have been working closely with the City of Seattle Human Services Department and our partners at Public Health—Seattle & King County to coordinate regional COVID-19 planning and preparation for assisting people experiencing homelessness. Together, we are working to ensure the safety and health of our neighbors currently experiencing homelessness.

Here is an update on those efforts:

  1. King County, City of Seattle and Public Health’s Health Care for the Homeless Network have scheduled four trainings so far to review and answer questions about the Sanitation and Hygiene Guide for Homeless Service Providers. Training for providers will take place in Kent, Seattle, Shoreline and Issaquah. Shelter providers have been notified of these trainings and are being strongly urged to send staff. We know these standard preventative measures for COVID-19 are also effective against other types of common viruses.
  1. Post-training, the Department of Community and Human Services, Public Health’s Environmental Health Division and City of Seattle’s Human Services Division will implement a monitoring schedule to ensure compliance with these guidelines.
  1. King County and Seattle homeless program staff are updating and confirming addresses and contact information for all shelter, day centers, encampments, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing programs to  be able to track active cases as needed and ensure swift sharing of information. 
  1. King County, City of Seattle, and Public Health’s Health Care for the Homeless Network are meeting regularly to ensure coordinated and collaborative support for our homeless shelter and services providers countywide.
  1. Training and education conducted around Hepatitis A has given our region a good head start on moving forward prevention activities for COVID-19.

We will provide updates on this blog.