The State Unified Command has been offering temporary housing assistance for healthcare workers that work in high risk environments due to COVID-19 or need Isolation and Quarantine housing assistance because they may have had an unprotected exposure to COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID like symptoms. The attachment is a simplified flowchart of how to obtain these services. The email below explains what requirements will be needed to obtain this housing assistance.
This program has been offered since the end of March. The state is continuing this program with some recent revisions so that the program can be sustained:
- The preferred method to obtain temporary housing assistance is for the facility Administrator or supervisor of an organization to request the housing assistance providing;
- Facility name including Supervisor and Supervisor’s contact info
- The reason the person cannot stay home or elsewhere and is in need of this assistance
- Include the risk level they are under due to their position or function they perform
- Requests for temporary housing assistance will still primarily be placed by calling 603-415-1624. (answered 24 hours a day)
- An email providing the authorization and reasons above can be sent to GSHCC@healthynh.org. This group mailbox is monitored daily.
- Self-referrals will be accepted on a case-by-case basis. With a self-referral, the agency or employer will be contacted to verify employment and to provide the above information regarding authorization, risk, and need (within 48 hours).
- Travelers who have a housing stipend will be expected to use this stipend for housing costs. Housing assistance may be granted on the short-term for up to one week to allow the stipend to become active.
- Verification of continued healthcare employment will occur periodically throughout the persons stay in this housing assistance. If a person is no longer willing to work shifts or is not employed in healthcare, the housing assistance will discontinue immediately.
- Renewing or extending accommodations for healthcare workers can only be done by approval of DHHS or Homeland Security staff unless the employee or employer is covering the cost of the room. Hotels have been instructed on this process and will not automatically extend stay. A request to extend stay will involve the same process as requesting the original assistance. A continued authorization including risk and need as explained above will be needed.
- For those employees that need extensions beyond two weeks, a state social worker may reach out to them to determine if other long-term arrangements can be made or are needed.
- For those employees in Isolation/Quarantine housing, their primary care provider will be expected to conduct daily monitoring of symptoms to ensure their condition does not require further medical attention. The person seeking isolation and quarantine will be asked to have a COVID-19 test done at ConvenientMD, testing site, or similar location prior to checking in or as soon after checking in as possible.
- All people in Isolation/Quarantine housing (not Respite housing) are expected to stay in their rooms and not interact with others including visitors to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
To help distinguish between Respite and Isolation/Quarantine housing, please review the definitions we use below:
TIER I (Healthcare Workers)
Respite Sites (Healthcare workers only) are rooms that will be available for healthcare employees who are working extended shifts, need a place to rest and recover, and may not want to jeopardize their family due to the work they are performing. They are asymptomatic and are able to take care of themselves. Food and extraneous costs are the responsibility of the healthcare worker or their organization. Those at respite sites are free to come and go as needed. They may be collocated with other first responders or healthcare professionals involved with this response requiring respite. Verification of employment will occur by contacting their organization or agency. An authorization from the organization will be needed indicating level of risk and the current need.
Self-Isolation/Quarantine (IQ) Sites for healthcare workers are for healthcare workers who may have either had an unprotected exposure to COVID-19 while working or have mild symptoms and need a place to stay while they await testing and/or test results. Healthcare workers seeking this housing will be requested to have testing done at ConvenientMD, a testing site, or another approved location if not already pending. Verification of employment will occur by contacting their organization or agency. Daily symptom monitoring will occur via phone or in-person. The healthcare worker in self-isolation or quarantine will be asked to stay in their room while under quarantine to avoid further exposure to themselves or others. Release from quarantine will follow current NH DHHS guidance at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2020/03202020-new-covid-19-testing-guidelines.htm
Costs Food and other applicable costs with the exception of the room expense is the responsibility of the healthcare organization or individual.
TIER II (General Public)
Self-Isolation/Quarantine (IQ) Sites for General Public is on a case-by-case basis and for members of the general public that have no other options but need a safe place to stay while experiencing COVID symptoms that have a medical referral. People seeking this housing will be requested to have testing done at ConvenientMD, a testing site, or another approved location. Daily symptom monitoring will occur via phone or in-person. If the person was referred by their primary care provider (PCP), then the PCP will be expected to conduct the daily monitoring. The person in quarantine will be asked to stay in their room while under quarantine to avoid further exposure to themselves or others. Release from quarantine will follow current NH DHHS guidance at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2020/03202020-new-covid-19-testing-guidelines.htm
Costs Food and other applicable costs with the exception of the room expense is the responsibility of the individual. Questions should be directed during the phone intake process.
Accessing These Resources
To access Tier I and Tier II services, please contact the following phone number at 603-415-1624. This phone number is staffed 24/7.
These sites are for individuals who are experiencing homelessness and may have needs for substance, mental health, or behavioral health assistance. These will be Isolation and Quarantine Sites only. The intake process may require additional questions to help determine what resources and services may be needed.
Accessing These Resources
To access this Tier of service, please contact the following phone number at 857-323-0388.
Questions about services and assistance for Tier III placement are best directed to the intake person at the above number.
Thank you all for your sustained hardwork and dedication to the people you serve! We acknowledge that many of you are still very much in the fight against this disease and are working to continue to provide assistance. We will continue to provide updates as processes change as best we can.
Please let us know if you have any questions and please be safe and stay healthy,
- Scott Nichols