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Effort To Test Homeless In Springfield For COVID-19 Underway After Unsheltered Person Tests Positive

Springfield-Greene County Health Department

An effort is underway to help homeless individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 gain access to testing and other services.

The Community Partnership of the Ozarks’s Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness launched a coordinated effort after the Springfield-Greene County Health Department announced a homeless individual had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The health department sent out a news release Friday.  It said that, before they were diagnosed, public health officials believe the person visited several local providers for unsheltered services in the past week.

Plans were already in place in case an unsheltered person was diagnosed, according to Community Partnership in a news release.  A COVID-19 Task Force was formed to develop and implement a containment, quarantine and isolation plan for those who are homeless.  And Community Partnership has provided a Shelter in Place option for approximately 300 households who were unsheltered and vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, according to Michelle Garand, vice president of Affordable Housing & Homeless Prevention at CPO.  She said she hopes they can continue to provide that option through the Merciful Nights Campaign.

To contribute to the campaign, go to cpozarks.org/covid19 or mail a check to Community Partnership of the Ozarks, 330 N. Jefferson, Springfield, MO 65806. 

For shelter resources, contact Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ One Door Program at 417-225-7499.

Those who are concerned about having been exposed should contact the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s coronavirus hotline at 417-874-1211 to access testing.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.