Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has concluded its COVID-19 activities in New York City, handing over one of its relief stations to a local organization and ending its infection prevention and health promotion activities.
In New York City, MSF partnered with local organizations to support at-risk groups by improving infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in facilities serving people who are homeless or housing insecure, improving access to services through distribution of phones, and operating relief stations where people experiencing homelessness could have safe access to hygiene facilities.
MSF worked with a network of organizations to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus among people living in supportive housing. Many of these buildings are older with narrow corridors and small elevators where it is difficult to socially distance. Often residents share kitchens and bathrooms, posing significant challenges for preventing COVID-19 transmission. People living in these facilities frequently have underlying conditions that place them at higher risk of complications if they contract COVID-19.
“Organizations were struggling to figure out how to protect residents and staff in their facilities,” said Michelle Mays, MSF project coordinator. “But we've had great collaboration, brainstorming, and thinking creatively to find solutions which can keep people safe as much as possible in these conditions and through these difficult times.”