Charleston facilities provide checkups for the homeless

Three Charleston based facilities came together to feed and provide checkups for Charleston's...
Three Charleston based facilities came together to feed and provide checkups for Charleston's homeless population.(WSAZ)
Published: Mar. 30, 2020 at 6:03 PM EDT
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Three Charleston-based facilities came together for one common purpose: CAMC's Ryan White program along with the West Virginia Health Right Clinic and Manna Meal provided checkups for the homeless.

During these checkups, those who are less fortunate could have their temperatures taken, as well as have a variety of tests performed. The tests include flu A and B, and strep throat. If a person met the CDC guidelines, they could also be tested for COVID-19.

"Our goal is to come to them see if they have the symptoms, see if they have a fever at all ... and try to find out if these individuals are infected with the actual virus itself," said Lee Lucas-Neel, a nurse practitioner with West Virginia Health Right.

Lucas-Neel says these organizations came together to help a group of people who don"t always have the best access to care. Health care professionals say it's important to test this population due to their transient nature, because they can spread it to anyone,

The virus itself does not discriminate whether you're poor, whether you're rich, whether you're employed or unemployed," Lucas-Neel said.

If someone were to test positive at one of these tents, the health professionals would notify the proper authorities, and then get the person the help that they needed. This includes possible hospitalization or helping someone find the best self isolation resources.

"Hopefully we can work with one of our sister social service agencies in the city to get them to a place where they can be sheltered safely and appropriately," said Christine Teague, a clinical pharmacist specialist with CAMC's Ryan White program.

People working inside the tent say the key to fighting the pandemic is both education and proper testing,

"Education is the key to prevention," Lucas-Neel said. "If you can provide these individuals with education of how it is spread and what to do to keep it from spreading, then the op is that you can flatten the curve.

The mobile medical tent will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Health officials say the tent will be open until the need for it is over.