Ensuring safety in multifamily properties remains a top priority for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD expanded its partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration to provide free over-the-counter COVID-19 antigen test kits to multifamily housing properties.
Understanding the Need
Testing is crucial in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The highly transmissible virus is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. It can also spread by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching the face. Asymptomatic carriers further complicate the situation, making testing an invaluable tool in identifying and isolating cases promptly.
Free COVID-19 Test Kits for Multifamily Properties
The collaboration between HUD and HHS provides free COVID-19 test kits to multifamily housing community. Eligible properties, including those assisted under various programs like Section 8 project-based rental assistance, can register to access these no-cost test kits.
Once approved, properties can order test kits through the HPOP self-service portal. To ensure a steady supply, it is recommended to order enough kits for weekly use by residents. Orders should be placed by Monday 11:59 PM EST for same-week processing, with shipments dispatched every Wednesday. Properties can anticipate deliveries within 7-10 calendar days after the shipping date.
Practical Tips for Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Multifamily Properties
While the availability of free test kits is a crucial step in managing COVID-19, prevention remains the cornerstone of community safety. You can help ensure safety in multifamily properties by implementing these simple measures which can significantly reduce the risk of virus transmission within multifamily properties or crowded spaces.
1. Emphasize Hygiene Practices
Encourage residents to practice regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Provide hand sanitizer stations in common areas and high-traffic zones. Remind residents to avoid touching their faces, especially the eyes, nose, and mouth, to minimize the risk of introducing the virus into their bodies.
2. Promote Social Distancing
Implement and promote social distancing measures within shared spaces. Arrange furniture to allow for adequate spacing in common areas, and consider limiting the number of individuals allowed in communal spaces at any given time. Encourage residents to maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from others.
3. Mandate Face Coverings in Common Areas
Require the use of face coverings in shared spaces to reduce the risk of respiratory droplet transmission. Post clear signage reminding residents of the importance of mask-wearing, and consider providing masks in common areas for those who may not have access to them.
4. Regular Cleaning
Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection in high-touch areas, such as doorknobs, handrails, and elevator buttons. Provide disinfectant wipes or sprays in common areas for residents to use on shared surfaces before and after use.