Charles County is working with several local organizations and agencies to protect the homeless community and other vulnerable populations throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The COVID-19 outbreak represents a significant health risk for people experiencing homelessness. People living in public spaces or in congregate settings might have limited access to preventive measures like frequent hand-washing, staying home, cleaning or avoiding high-touch surfaces, and rapid access to health care.
The Charles County Department of Emergency Services has partnered with the Health Department, Department of Social Services, Sheriff’s Office, La Plata Police Department, and Lifestyles of Maryland to provide a number of emergency actions to protect vulnerable populations who are at the greatest risk of getting very sick or dying if they contract COVID-19
“We know that our homeless population is especially at risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and faces unique challenges to ensuring quarantine and isolation if infection occurs,” stated Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “That’s why the county has taken proactive measures to ensure that we are providing direct outreach and assistance to keep them healthy and house them when necessary.”
According to a press release:
An agreement is underway to partner with Lifestyles of Maryland to provide sanitation stations that will be delivered to homeless encampments. The stations will provide portable toilets and handwashing sinks to support hygiene and prevent community spread of COVID-19. A plan has also been put in place to provide shelter to those who become ill and test positive for COVID-19, so they can be safely quarantined until they recover.
Commissioner President Collins stated that “These strategies are in place to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of homeless individuals who are at higher risk due to their circumstances during this extraordinary time.”
Visit the Charles County website for more information.
For up-to-date information and state resources regarding coronavirus, including confirmed case counts and clinician guidance, visit http://health.maryland.gov/coronavirus.