24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Scientists Find Clues to Why AstraZeneca's Vaccine May Cause ClotsYou've Got Fungi in Your Lungs, and That's OKNon-Emergency Surgeries Are Rebounding, But Backlogs RemainPandemic Has Put Many Clinical Trials on HoldSupply of J&J COVID Vaccine to Drop 86 Percent Next WeekStressed, Exhausted: Frontline Workers Faced Big Mental Strain in PandemicNIH Starts Trial Looking at Rare Allergic Reactions to COVID VaccinesNot Just Keyboards: Many Types of Workers Can Develop Carpal TunnelBlack Women Are Dying of COVID at Much Higher Rates Than White MenTwo Vaccines Show Effectiveness Against Emerging COVID VariantsWomen More Prone to Concussion's Long-Term Harms: StudyCOVID Cases Climb in the Midwest as British Variant Takes Hold in U.S.'Heart-in-a-Box' Can Be Lifesaving, Matching Up Distant Donors With PatientsNo Proof COVID Vaccines Can Trigger Guillain-Barré SyndromeFor People With PAD, Exercise Can Be Tough But RewardingPublic Lost Trust in CDC During COVID Crisis: Poll1 in 3 COVID Survivors Struggle With Mental Health Issues Months LaterA Few People With COVID Went a Crowded Bar: Here's What HappenedNearly 8 in 10 School, Child Care Staff Have Gotten at Least 1 Dose of COVID Vaccine: CDCModerna COVID Vaccine Offers Protection for at Least 6 Months: StudyStrain of COVID Care Has Many Health Professionals Looking for an ExitCOVID Shot Earlier in Pregnancy Better for Baby: StudyDoctors' Group Says Antibiotics Can Be Taken for Shorter PeriodsIf You've Had COVID, One Vaccine Jab Will Do: StudyAbout 40,000 U.S. Children Have Lost a Parent to COVID-19Study Refutes Theory That Blood Type Affects COVID RiskHow Willing Are Americans to Donate COVID Vaccines to Other Countries?Got Your COVID Vaccine? Don't Stop Being Cautious, Experts SayCOVID Drove 23% Spike in U.S. Deaths In 2020Faster-Spreading COVID Variant Expanding in United StatesWhen Will America's Kids Get Their COVID Vaccines?AHA News: Why You Should Pay Attention to InflammationMany Recovering COVID Patients Show Signs of Long-Term Organ DamageCOVID Fears Mean More Cancers Are Being Diagnosed at Later StagesSome Hospitalized COVID Patients Develop SeizuresCan Vaccinations Stop COVID Transmission? College Study Aims to Find OutCDC Confirms COVID as Third Leading Cause of Death in 2020Research Reveals How Aspirin Helps Prevent Colon CancerPfizer Says Its COVID Vaccine Is Very Effective in Kids as Young as 12AHA News: The Secret to Good Health Is No Secret. So Why Is It So Hard to Achieve?'Couch Potato' Lifestyles Cause Up to 8% of Global Deaths: StudyHave to Travel During Spring Break? Here's How to Stay SafeNew Coronavirus Can Also Infect Cells in the MouthBiden, Top Health Officials Warn of Risk of Another COVID SurgeAHA News: Black Young Adults Face Higher Stroke Risk Than Their White PeersReal-World Proof That Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Slash COVID InfectionsStudy Ties Gum Disease to High Blood PressureSmoking Rates High Among Surgery PatientsBiden Administration Working on 'Vaccine Passport' InitiativeSpring Activity Can Sometimes Bring Stress Fractures
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


How Moving the Homeless to Hotels During the Pandemic Helps Everyone

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 5th 2021

new article illustration

FRIDAY, March 5, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Giving homeless COVID-19 patients a free hotel room for their quarantine and recovery pays huge health dividends for the entire community, according to a new study out of San Francisco.

Only 4% of homeless folks transferred from Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital to a participating hotel wound up back in the hospital with worsened COVID-19 symptoms, the researchers said in the report published online March 2 in JAMA Network Open.

That helped San Francisco hospitals save beds for severe cases of COVID-19 and other life-threatening illnesses, and also prevented further spread of the coronavirus among the city's homeless population, said lead researcher Dr. Hemal Kanzaria. He is medical director of care coordination at Zuckerberg San Francisco General.

"We were able to meet their medical and non-medical needs in the community, and we were able to reserve that precious hospital capacity for our sickest patients," Kanzaria said.

In January, President Joe Biden ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide 100% reimbursement for programs to house the homeless in hotel rooms during the pandemic.

This study shows that approach is "good strategy," said Oscar Alleyne, chief of programs and services for the National Association of County and City Health Officials, in Washington, D.C.

"For those who are able to use this, it does bode well for showing some success rates," Alleyne said.

Last March, San Francisco declared one of the nation's first shelter-in-place orders.

Within days, the city opened the first of five designated quarantine hotels in which COVID-19 patients could stay if they had no other means of isolation, researchers said in background notes. The hotels, all located near several homeless shelters, offered a total 457 beds.

Kanzaria explained that "it was clear early on in San Francisco that we needed to develop an approach that would preserve hospital beds for patients with the sickest illness, to improve health overall in our community. We wanted to provide support for this vulnerable population, especially if they had COVID or had been exposed to COVID, so that they could safely isolate and quarantine, both to keep themselves safe and to decrease the chance of transmission of COVID."

An estimated 568,000 people are homeless on any given night in the United States, and there have been numerous COVID-19 outbreaks among those in crowded and cramped community shelters, the researchers noted.

During the past year, the program has provided hotel shelter for more than 3,300 people, Kanzaria said.

The new study focuses on more than 1,000 of the hotel guests during a two-month span early in the pandemic, including 346 homeless people who were referred to a hotel by Zuckerberg San Francisco General.

Under the program, hospital workers identified homeless people who either had confirmed COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, and referred them to one of the participating hotels for isolation and quarantine, Kanzaria said.

At the hotel, homeless guests were monitored for symptoms by nurses, received twice-daily wellness checks and were delivered meals, according to the report.

They also were treated for drug addiction and alcoholism, and provided with other needed medical care, the researchers said.

"More than 80% of quarantine patients at the hotels completed their recommended length of stay, and only 4% of patients that were referred from the county hospital where I work had to be sent back due to illness progression," Kanzaria said. "That suggests it was a safe alternative to the hospital."

Of the 4% sent back to the hospital, one person died and nine others required hospitalization for other medical or behavioral health conditions.

In another good sign, Kanzaria noted that more than 70% of the referrals to the hotel program came from outpatient settings like emergency rooms, urgent care centers and health care clinics.

"Those were patients we avoided hospitalization for altogether," he said. "Our study suggests this is an effective tool both to serve individuals that need a safe place to isolate and quarantine, and to preserve hospital capacity in the setting of additional surges."

These results show the value of housing strategies for the homeless even beyond the pandemic, Kanzaria said.

"Housing is one of the most fundamental things we can do to promote our patients' health," he said.

"Those underlying social determinants of health -- those social, environmental and economic factors -- actually drive the majority of population health," Kanzaria added.

"There's really strong science to suggest that 70% to 80% of overall health is determined by these underlying social, economic and environmental factors. If we want to advance health overall, we really need to be focusing upstream on things like poverty reduction initiatives, access to affordable housing, access to healthy food, early childhood education, things like that," he said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about COVID-19 and the homeless.

SOURCES: Hemal Kanzaria, MD, medical director, department of care coordination, Zuckerberg San Francisco General, and associate professor, emergency medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Oscar Alleyne, DrPH, MPH, chief, programs and services, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Washington, D.C.; JAMA Network Open, March 2, 2021, online