Testing and care for unsheltered populations
People experiencing homelessness are at a higher risk of contracting and becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and of seeking emergency room medical care. Urgent efforts are underway to increase testing in homeless shelters, downtown clinics and new community housing sites. In addition, UW Medicine is transforming Harborview Hall, an overnight shelter on First Hill in Seattle, into a quarantine site for homeless patients who are awaiting COVID-19 test results or who are COVID-19 positive.
“During this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, those experiencing homelessness have less access to testing and healthcare, which is why the community needs to step up,” said Jody Allen, co-founder and chair of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “Our grant will help increase UW Medicine’s capacity to detect COVID-19 among our local unsheltered population and support the treatment of those infected.”
Accelerating COVID-19 research
UW Medicine is home to the Brotman Baty Institute based Seattle Flu Study, which is partnering with Public Health-Seattle & King County and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) to monitor the progression of COVID-19 and to help lead local, national, and international response efforts. UW Medicine is also the administrative base for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) that is providing valuable modelling projections used for guiding the national COVID-19 response. In addition, more than 35 UW scientists are heading teams that are rapidly advancing COVID-19 research in such areas as vaccine development, diagnostics, antiviral drugs, plasma treatments, immune responses and immunity, prevention of heart and lung complications, protection of pregnant mothers and their babies, and infection control.
"Understanding more about the virus is the first step in being able to stop it. UW Medicine has been an early leader in responding to COVID-19 and is well-positioned to continue translating key insights to inform practice in real time. Increased support for UW Medicine’s research response can help accelerate important actions needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Bezos Family.