I work with people experiencing homelessness. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our clients are having a difficult time fulfilling their basic needs because many businesses are closed. Many specialty offices including NEVHC have converted visits to telehealth, which is difficult for these individuals whose phones may not be charged or who simply do not have a telephone. At the Transitions to Wellness clinic sites, we are still seeing patients either over the phone or in the clinic, if medically necessary. Many of our patients are experiencing increased anxiety, and for that I have been referring them to a therapist. To meet the needs of this vulnerable population, I have continued to go out to encampments and follow up with individuals by educating them on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, informing them to self-isolate in a tent if possible and directing patients who may be symptomatic or in contact with someone with COVID-19 to a quarantine site. I have been going out with community partner staff to provide individuals with resources on where they can shower and get food. In encampments where we find multiple symptomatic patients, we coordinate to test the entire encampment for COVID-19. We recently did this for one encampment and directed a few patients to a quarantine site. Because many encampments have a large number of individuals living together in close contact, together with community partners we have been able to get many individuals who are at high risk into hotels.
Jeanie, Nurse Practitioner, Transitions to Wellness
NEVHC is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b, and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n) with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.