People experiencing homelessness are at risk from this new virus that has quickly spread across the world.

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Homelessness & COVID-19

Covid-19, also knwon as the coronavirus, has been spreading across the world. The virus is a respiratory illness that quickly spreads from person to person. The risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close in contact with someone who has COVID-19. The symptoms are a fever, cough and shortness of breath. People over the age of 70 and/or with health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease are at a greater risk.

We have all been told to put distance between us and others, wash your hands often and stay home. With an apartment or a house, I’m sure you can see how the standard COVID-19 advice can be relatively easy to follow. On the other hand, the homeless are extremely vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only in Texas but in the nation, homeless shelters are scrambling to get hygiene products and create space between their residents.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance that local governments should stop clearing out homeless encampments to avoid scattering potentially infected individuals. It took a pandemic to suspend camp clear-outs. The Other Ones Foundation is operating a mobile hygiene clinic that visits camps to offer showers and toiletries and city and county officials in Austin, Texas turn to hotel rooms and the Austin Sobering Center to quarantine the homeless that are infected in hopes to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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