Testing at SafeHouse Ministries reveals four positive cases of COVID-19 in the homeless community


Testing at a SafeHouse Ministries reveals the first positive cases of Covid-19 in our homeless community.

There are four positive cases, three men and one child. They are all asymptomatic. This comes a week after Mercy Med partnered with SafeHouse Ministries to provide free testing to people experiencing homelessness.

Almost 200 people were tested that day. Neil Richardson with SafeHouse Ministries says since learning about the cases, the facility has put their isolation unit into effect. 

“The fact that all four of them would come in here and know that we’re going to provide them food, shelter, we’re going to make sure they’re safe,”Richardson said.

“If they do have symptoms, if they are sick we’re going to take care of them. We have Dr. Scarborough and folks at Mercy Med that are going to be checking up on us to make sure we’re safe here and our clients know that this is for the community. You know, they’re not going to infect anybody.”

In addition to the four positive cases, there are two women in isolation. One woman is awaiting results and the other is caring for her son.

Richardson says they were fully prepared to care for anyone that may have tested positive thanks to a grant from the coronavirus response fund and help from the Columbus Baptist Association.

“We needed Tylenol, cough medicine, throat lozenges for if we did start getting symptomatic. We needed food and we needed the ability to isolate. We’re turning on the rotunda’s power 24/7 and that was unexpected,” Richardson said.

Richardson says after seven days of no symptoms, they will retest and release those who are in the isolation unit. He also says they plan to ramp up testing.

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