Seattle/King County Coronavirus (COVID-19): Information for Homeless Service Providers

(Last Updated: April 2, 2020 at 4 p.m.)

This blog contains information about COVID-19 and resources for housing and homelessness service providers. Information about calls and webinars are at the top of this post, helpful documents are below.

Please visit Public Health Seattle-King County’s website (www.kingcounty.gov/covid) or Public Health’s blog for general COVID-19 updates and information. Please visit Healthcare for the Homeless Network’s website for Homeless Provider specific information and documents.

Public Health Seattle-King County is working closely with the WA State Department of Health and tracking information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Our goal is to ensure that homeless services and housing providers and advocates have timely and accurate information and resources to help you do your work well.

IMPORTANT: Direct Homeless Service Providers should email covidhomelessnessresponse@kingcounty.gov to get on their distribution list for calls, important documents, and timely updates.

Novel Coronavirus Call Center: 206-477-3977, hours: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily

  • Tell the call center you work at a homeless service providing organization, or are with someone who is homeless who is showing symptoms (or has tested positive/awaiting results) – their phone tree will get you to somebody specific to provide support.
  • Call if you are in King County and believe you were exposed to COVID-19—or if you’re a healthcare or service provider with COVID-19 questions.

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Changing or reducing services or hours at your agency?

If your agency is reducing or modifying any of your services as a result of COVID-19, please notify Public Health at covidhomelessnessresponse@kingcounty.gov and let the Coalition know as well at notices@homelessinfo.org so that we can better track and coordinate available resources.

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**For most up-to-date call and meeting information, please visit King County’s Public Health’s COVID-19 Homelessness Response calendar**

Q&A Call for Homeless Service Providers – Every Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

These calls provide the opportunity for homeless service providers to share questions or concerns with King County staff about sanitation/hygiene or interim COVID guidance. These calls are open to all staff of homeless service agencies. Join via Skype online or by Phone206.263.8114, conference ID 9410150.

It is recommend that you watch the webinar recording from Public Health to go over Sanitation and Hygiene Guide, with a special focus on COVID-19, then bring any questions you have to the call.

Weekly Homeless Service Provider Call with Public Health – Every Wednesday, 2 p.m – 3 p.m.

  • What: A weekly check-in regarding Coronavirus. The goal is to coordinate our efforts to support and protect people living homeless. 
  • When: Weekly Wednesdays from 2-3 p.m. March 11 through April 1 (or as needed).
  • Who: This call is intended for key staff at homeless service provider agencies, Seattle King County Public Health’s (SKCPH), Health Care for the Homeless Network (HCHN), the City of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) and King County’s Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS). Please identify one lead staff person from each agency to participate, and then be responsible for disseminating information within your organization. This will allow for a manageable number of people to be on the call, to ask questions, and to get answers.
  • How to get call-in information: Email King County staff: CovidHomelessnessResponse@kingcounty.gov

– Homeless Outreach Provider Call – Every Thursday, 12:00 p.m. – 1 p.m.

These calls are an opportunity for Outreach Workers to come together to share best practices and get updates on the ever developing COVID-19. Join via Skype online or by Phone 206.263.8114, conference ID 1691673.

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Public Health Guidance: Please visit Public Health’s website for the most current versions and more information

Seattle-King County Public Health has released updated COVID-19 interim guidance for homeless service providers – thank you to all who provided input. These documents are updated often – instead of saving a PDF to reference for weeks, make sure that your team is checking the updated website daily to get the most up-to-date documents.

The following guidance documents made available on 4/1/2020:

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Sanitation and Hygiene Documents and Resources:

  • Sanitation and Hygiene Guide for Homeless Service Providers
    • This guide is for operations, staff, volunteers, clients, and residents who are involved in the day-to-date operations of shelters, tiny home villages, day and hygiene centers, as well as other direct service programs for people experiencing homelessness. The purpose of this guide is to reduce the spread of contagious diseases, prevent food-borne illnesses, and to ensure safe and sanitary spaces for individuals experiencing homelessness.
    • See webinar recording here at bottom of page from Friday 3/6/2020 webinar about the guide with COVID-19 focus.
    • Please pay particular attention to the following sections:
      • Disease Prevention  – Page 5
      • Hygiene – Page 9
      • Food Safety – Page 17
      • Sanitize & Disinfect – Page 21 & Page 22
  • Sanitation & Hygiene Assessment Tool for Homeless Shelters, Day Centers, Villages, and Encampments
    • This document helps to ensure the health and safety of clients, staff, and volunteers, and to determine if additional support is needed to meet minimum sanitation and hygiene standards.
  • Stop Germs, Stay Healthy! Hand washing posters are available in 22 languages.

For further information on the Coronavirus disease, please visit: