COVID-19 testing begins at Madison homeless shelters

MADISON, Wis. — UnityPoint Health – Meriter and local public health officials are partnering to provide COVID-19 testing at four homeless shelters in Madison.

The Salvation Army, The Beacon and two Porchlight locations (Safe Haven and the emergency men’s shelter at Warner Park) will be tested.

“Our homeless services providers and the shelters have done a tremendous job mitigating the risk of COVID-19 spreading within our unhoused populations. Their efforts have prevented an outbreak in shelters to date,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County.

Meriter will coordinate staff and volunteers to perform the testing. Public Health Madison & Dane County will handle logistics, including providing testing supplies and transporting tests to the Exact Sciences lab for processing and follow-up calls, according to a release from Meriter.

Public health officials said testing will allow them to identify asymptomatic carriers.