Pandemic Planning in Homeless Shelters: A Pilot Study of a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Testing and Support Program to Mitigate the Risk of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Congregate Settings

Clin Infect Dis. 2021 May 4;72(9):1639-1641. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa743.


We tested 104 residents and 141 staff for coronavirus disease 2019 who failed daily symptom screening in homeless shelters in Hamilton, Canada. We detected 1 resident (1%), 7 staff (5%), and 1 case of secondary spread. Shelter restructuring to allow physical distancing, testing, and isolation can decrease outbreaks in shelters.

Keywords: coronavirus; homeless; outbreak; shelter; surveillance.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Pandemics
  • Pilot Projects
  • SARS-CoV-2