This page is dedicated to the most up-to-date guidance and resources including important local information related to our current readiness and responses for people facing homelessness who are at-risk of or infected with coronavirus (COVID-19). 

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COVID-19 Screening and Triage Protocol for People Experiencing Homelessness


        CSB staff, along with Dr. Krisanna Deppen and Dr. Haileigh Ross from our Ohiohealth medical advisor team, hosted a webinar to review the guidance below and answer your questions.

Please register and watch this webinar at:

Process overview & tools:

Flowchart of the COVID-19 Screening & Triage Protocol for People Experiencing Homelessness

1.  All individuals who are homeless should be screened when calling the hotline to access shelter and daily while in shelter/congregate transitional housing/drop-in center, or at each contact if unsheltered. Individuals in shelter, transitional housing, or at drop-in centers should be screened (including temperature check) before entering the building. Shelters and transitional housing client should be screened at least once per day. Outreach and drop-in center clients should be screened at each contact.

2.  Individuals who are screened as potentially having or being exposed to someone who has covid-19 should be referred to a medical partner/provider (e.g., a fqhc partner). Homeless assistance providers should identify and collaborate with their medical partner and establish joint screening/referral protocols (see example template, below). Individuals to refer to a medical partner include those who:

√ Have tested positive for covid-19 by a medical provider

√ Are ‘under investigation’ for covid-19 (i.e., tested and are still awaiting results) by a medical provider

√ Have symptoms of covid-19, per criteria in the screening tool above

√ Have been exposed to someone with covid-19, per “close contact” criteria described in the screening tool below.


Covid-19 initial screening questions for non-medical staff – basic screening tool to identify clients who are positive, symptomatic, or exposed to coronavirus. Includes next step triage instructions (last page).

Stay 6 feet away. Ask 7 questions – staff handout/posting related to importance of screening and maintaining personal safety.

Shelter/transitional housing screening workflow – optional fillable program screening/triage procedure template.

New hospital transfer guidance – if referring an individual who is suspected of having covid-19 (non-emergency situations) to an emergency department at ohiohealth, mount carmel, or osu medical center for further evaluation, please first call the appropriate hospital transfer center below before sending the individual to alert the hospital and for additional instruction.

Mount Carmel transfer center: 614-546-3328

Ohiohealth transfer center: 614-533-4211

OSU Wexner medical center transfer center: 614-293-4444

3.  Individuals referred to a medical partner should be further evaluated by the medical provider to confirm either need for shelter for isolation and quarantine (siq) or appropriateness for being in a general population congregate shelter.


COVID-19 Screening & Triage Guidance for Medical Staff Assisting People Experiencing Homelessness – quick reference guide for medical partner screening and referral process to SIQ via Netcare/Homeless Hotline.

COVID-19 Screening Questions for Medical Staff – screening questions medical partners will be asked by Netcare/Homeless Hotline when making a referral to Netcare/Homeless Hotline for SIQ. Completion of this form is not required, but the information is required to be provided to be considered for SIQ admission.

COVID-19 Medical Review for General Population Emergency Shelter – form medical partners should complete and provide to the individual and/or Homeless Hotline when it is determined they do not need SIQ and are appropriate to be in a congregate emergency shelter.

COVID-19 Screening Classifications and Definitions for People Experiencing Homelessness – quick reference guide including isolation and quarantine classifications, and definitions of “COVID-19 symptoms,” “close contact,” and “high risk/vulnerability for severe illness due to COVID-19.”

4. Individuals in some emergency shelters and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) semi-congregate housing can now voluntarily undergo asymptomatic random/surveillance testing for COVID-19. Medical partners in conjunction with shelters and housing provider are following-up collectively for this weekly testing plan. If test results come back positive, Client will be provided with referral to SIQ if there are no other safe and appropriate options available. Information will be updated as additional locations are added or as guidance/process changes.


Process for SIQ Referral for COVID-19 Positive Client in Random Testing

NOTE ON TESTING:  Based on advice from our OhioHealth medical advisors and latest CDC guidance, there is not currently a requirement that an individual be tested before referral to Netcare/Homeless Hotline for possible SIQ admission. Ideally, individuals would be confirmed via a positive COVID-19 test result before entering isolation at SIQ, and those exiting SIQ would be confirmed with a negative test. However, negative testing may lead to a false sense of security, as it may take several days for a patient to test positive and/or develop symptoms, and due to the high rate of “false negative” tests. As testing capabilities and reliability improves, our isolation and quarantine procedures related to testing will be updated, as determined by our OhioHealth medical advisors.   

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact Erin Maus, CSB System Manager, at with any questions concerning the COVID-19 screening and triage process.

COVID-19 Homeless Response Network (HRN)

Formerly the Homeless System Command Group 


Date of Virtual Meeting


Link to Recording



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