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States Respond to COVID-19: Weekly Testing for Calif. Hospital Staff

The California Department of Health released new guidance that strongly recommends general acute care hospital staff get screened and tested weekly for COVID-19.

The guidance also calls on hospitals to test all newly admitted patients and immediately test any health care workers showing symptoms. The health department requested all acute care hospitals submit a COVID-19 testing mitigation plan by Dec. 7 and to begin weekly screening of all health care staff by Dec. 14.

Calif., Ore. Purchase Hotels for those Experiencing Homelessness

In the beginning of the pandemic, many states rented hotel rooms for those experiencing homelessness to improve physical and mental health during the public health crisis. However, as the pandemic persisted, both California and Oregon began to buy entire hotels to support homelessness and vulnerable communities in their states.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in April created Project Roomkey to provide temporary shelter in rented hotel rooms, using federal CARES Act funding and assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Since then, the program has switched to buying hotels and plans over the next six months to transition up to 1,000 people a month into housing from 37 emergency shelters.

Modeling after California, Oregon created Project Turnkey, which was approved in the fall and is funded with state general funds. Oregon’s program consists of two parts: funding for families who lost their homes from wildfires, and funding for housing needs for the homeless.

Both states plan on continuing to use hotels as emergency housing after the pandemic.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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