Rapid testing for the homeless

by Rev. Bill Crews 14 Aug 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an uncertain time for us all. Indeed, the current Delta-induced lockdown has been challenging - not to mention the increased risk of infection. However, it’s been especially difficult for the homeless and rough sleepers we care for. That's why I'd like rapid testing for the homeless.

Many of the homeless who visit my Foundation suffer chronic health conditions, so when one of them tested positive for COVID-19 it sent shock waves through our community. He’d come for a meal while unknowingly infectious.

With the help of NSW Health we immediately tested all our guests, volunteers and staff. Thankfully all were in the clear, but it highlights how easily the Delta strain can infect a vulnerable community.

That’s why we’ve ensured all our homeless and vulnerable guests are fully vaccinated. It’s also why I’m working hard to secure rapid testing kits to help monitor the health of our homeless guests.

The epidemiologist Prof. Marylouise McLaws advised me the best rapid testing kits are 99% accurate, but at $10 each they are expensive. So I’m urging the government to supply us with at least 20,000 kits so we can monitor the health of those who rely on my Foundation.