Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019) - Homeless Veterans
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Homeless Veterans

 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019)

Information on this website does not supersede information provided by local health departments. Please consult local authorities for further guidance.

Veterans experiencing or at risk for homelessness are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because of limited access to health care, pre-existing conditions, and lack of access to basic infection prevention and control methods. VA is committed to taking every possible precaution to protect the health and safety of these Veterans and is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to develop and implement strategies to help prevent them from getting COVID-19.

To protect both Veterans and VA staff from COVID-19, VA personnel and grantees assigned to homelessness programs have implemented aggressive infection prevention techniques and response plans at all locations. Staff employ the following preventive methods based on guidance from CDC:

  • Frequent handwashing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Persistent use of 60% or greater alcohol-based hand sanitizers
  • Maintaining a distance of six feet from other people
  • Not shaking hands
  • Not touching their eyes, nose, or mouth

Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness are strongly encouraged to contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at (877) 4AID-VET (877-424-3838) for assistance. If Veterans do not have access to a phone or the internet, only then are they to visit their closest VA medical center without calling in advance. VA also urges Veterans who are not homeless or at risk of homelessness to contact their VA medical center before visiting for any reason. These steps are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Each VA facility has created separate areas or zones to isolate Veterans with possible or confirmed COVID-19 from uninfected patients who need other routine and emergent care. VA is also identifying appropriate quarantine options for Veterans who are homeless to receive treatment if they are symptomatic or screen positive for COVID-19 but are not ill enough for hospital-level care.

  • Refer to the website of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness for key resources recommended by the CDC and other organizations.
  • Find provisional guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for homeless service providers on planning for and responding to COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC website for information on how to prepare your family in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in your community.
  • Learn about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and its impact on Veterans experiencing homelessness.
  • Visit the Internal Revenue Service website for the latest information on COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments.
  • Find information from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness on the federal agencies and organizations providing support and resources to individuals experiencing homelessness.

The CDC describes key actions that local and state health departments, homelessness service systems, housing authorities, emergency planners, health care facilities, and homeless outreach services can take to protect people experiencing homelessness from the spread of COVID-19.

General Guidance and Information

For Vulnerable Populations

Mental Health and Addiction Support

Stress and Anxiety Management

For Tribal Communities

Information for Telehealth Employees

Emotional Wellness and Stress Reduction Resources for VA Medical Staff

Strong Practices: Limiting the Spread and Self Protection

Funding and Waiver Information

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