Douglas County Confronts COVID-19 In Homeless Population With Federal Funds
The homeless population in Douglas County will get some strategic help in the fight against COVID-19; the county will use federal funding to help contain the spread of the virus throughout the homeless in the area.
Members of the Douglas County Executive Board approved spending $10,000 worth of the money it received from the American Rescue Plan Act. The funding will assist to "shelter homeless individuals who test positive for COVID-19".
While the COVID-19 virus hasn't affected the homeless population in our area to great degree, county officials wanted to be prepared. The approved funding will "allow for safe and adequate shelter during the period when COVID-positive individuals are contagious". According to Anna Carlson - the Director of Health and Human Services for Douglas County, this provides two beneficial elements:
"Sheltering is a vital human service, and this would have a significant impact on keeping our homeless population safe and health. Assuredly, this would also decrease the risk of potential spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout other members of our community."
According to the Superior Telegram [paywall], COVID-19 numbers are slightly increasing - but at significantly lower levels than last year at this time. "In November, 626 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Douglas County, slightly more than half the number of people who tested positive during the height of the pandemic in November 2020."
County health officials are seeing the increases less in general population and more in contained social settings. There is also an added increase in the number of teenagers in Douglas County contracting and testing positive for COVID-19.