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COVID resources for housing and human service providers, clients

Friday, June 19, 2020 - 10:40am

Nonprofit agencies providing housing, health and human services are key stakeholders in preventing and protecting against COVID-19 in Douglas County. Many of these agencies are serving our communities most vulnerable populations including individuals experiencing physical and mental disabilities, homelessness, and domestic violence.

Here are some resources to assist agencies in mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19 and responding to incidents related to this serious public health threat:

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response website includes multiple resource toolkits for special populations, including, but not limited to:

Additional resources and guidance for special populations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):


Client Intake, Screening and Monitoring

The following information should serve as basic guidelines for community shelter and congregate living providers in Douglas County related to new client admissions and monitoring existing clients. These guidelines are based on CDC recommendations and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 for clients and staff. Any additional questions or concerns from community agency staff can be directed to Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health at 785-856-4343 or Jill Jolicoeur, Assistant County Administrator, 785-393-6435 or

New clients

1. At time of admission to program, clients will complete the COVID-19 screening questionnaire.

2. Client will be provided with at least one cloth mask (two if available) and given information on use of mask, social distancing and hygiene expectations.

3. If no symptoms are noted, client may continue with program.

4. If any two or more symptoms are noted, client will be isolated from other clients (separate room or motel room) until evaluation and/or testing can be completed.

5. If test is negative and client remains symptomatic, client may return to program participation but should have medical evaluation completed by health care provider.

6. If test is positive, client will remain in isolation (preferably motel room or single-family residence) following current KDHE isolation guidelines.

7. In the event of a positive case among clients, program staff/participants will be evaluated by Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health to determine type of exposure and need for quarantine.

Established clients

1. Residential clients will need to be evaluated daily for any change in symptom report.

2. Residential clients will be expected to wear a mask whenever in group settings or common areas.

3. Residential clients will be expected to maintain 6-foot social distancing between staff and other clients.

4. Any change in symptoms that corresponds to two or more symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated and tested for COVID-19.

Outpatient clients

1. Prior to appointment, staff will call client and complete COVID-19 screening questionnaire.

2. If client (or household members) identify two or more symptoms during screening, appointment should be deferred or done virtually. Client should be encouraged to contact medical provider or Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health to be evaluated for testing.

3. During appointment, client and staff will wear masks and maintain 6-foot distance where possible.

4. Where possible, children older than 2 years of age will wear masks during family appointments.

5. At end of appointment staff will perform cleaning/disinfecting of all frequently used surfaces in meeting space.

Housing Assistance Available

The Rent Assistance Program provides financial rent support and low-interest microloans to Douglas County renters experiencing COVID-affected loss of income. The online application can be found on Tenants to Homeowners, Inc.’s website at:

For questions about the program, or to receive a paper application, please contact:

The following Emergency Service Council agencies offer utility and rent assistance with funding support from Douglas County:


Media Contact

Karrey Britt, Communications Specialist