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DCF helps residents in non-congregate COVID-19 housing

(WJHG)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 5:05 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Department for Children and Families updates non-congregate housing facilities for COVID-19 responses.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families says it continues to operate non-congregate housing facilities throughout Kansas to host those currently working in, exposed to, or living in congregate settings, COVID-19 positive, exposed or high-risk individuals.

DCF says it is currently managing sites in Dodge City, Emporia, Gardner, Leavenworth, Liberal and Manhattan and has closed sites in Garden City and Junction City.

According to the agency, shelters are established to prevent the spread of the virus and maintain operations within critical and essential businesses or services. It says a request for non-congregate sheltering can be made tot he state by a county emergency manager.

The agency also says the local or state health officer may make recommendations for non-congregate shelter if an identified need has been found.

The Kansas Department of Emergency Management, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Department for Children and Families contracts with local hotels to establish sites says DCF. Contracts have been for entire hotel facilities with no other guests present.

DCF says not all residents are in the facilities due to illness, some live in congregate settings, work in congregate settings or at essential locations and could be concerned about returning home due to exposure risk for COVID-19.

DCF says examples include:

  • Individuals unable to quarantine at home due to a high-risk person at home
  • Individuals who work in a congregate setting
  • Immunocompromised individuals
  • Adults over 65 years of age
  • Comorbidities
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Cancer treatments
  • Unable to financially cover independent quarantine
  • Or other health issues

DCF says residents are not required to stay in the facility, however if they do leave, the county health officer is notified.

The agency says it manages the day-to-day operations of each site and responsibilities include making sure residents receive meals and laundry service, as well as ensuring the facility is cleaned daily and receives a deep cleaning before returning the hotel to normal operations.

DCF says the first non-congregate sites opened in April and sites have been added as counties ask for support. Each site will remain open if there is a continued need in the community and additional sites also may be opened as counties address the continued spread of COVID-19.

DCF says due to HIPAA laws, the exact locations of each site are not allowed to be made public to protect the privacy of Kansas residents. Currently, there is a total of 43 people staying in non-congregate housing.

Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.

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