Minister O’Brien receives update on COVID-19 prevention and management measures in homeless services

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has received an update at the weekly High Level Homeless Taskforce in relation to COVID-19 prevention and management measures in homeless services.

Minister O’Brien said, “I am very conscious of the potential impact of COVID-19 on our homeless services and I am very grateful to the local authorities and their NGO service delivery partners for their continued efforts to ensure the safety of households in emergency accommodation.  I also appreciate the support being received in this area from the Department of Health and the HSE.

“At this week’s meeting we specifically discussed outbreak prevention and management in homeless services.  A significant proportion of individuals in emergency accommodation have complex health needs.  Additional accommodation is available to ensure the appropriate levels of social distancing are in place, with a number of individuals shielded in self-contained accommodation.

“Local authorities and their service delivery partners are operating services in accordance with HSE guidance. Adherence with this guidance alongside coordinated HSE testing programmes have kept the numbers of cases in homeless services low.  Significant additional accommodation has been put in place to allow for the self-isolation of any confirmed or suspected cases of infection.”