Hospitality House testing its guests for COVID-19 |

Hospitality House testing its guests for COVID-19

Homeless resident John Branch receives a COVID-19 test at Utah’s Place, performed by Mary Hunt of Western Sierra Medical Center.
Photo by Christina Apkarian of Hospitality House

With guest safety at the forefront of its operations, Hospitality House in Grass Valley has turned to local healthcare provider Western Sierra Medical Clinic and Avellino Lab USA, Inc., a private molecular diagnostics company, to create a safe, streamlined service for COVID-19 testing, exclusive to homeless guests of Hospitality House. Results are received within 24 to 48 hours.

“COVID-19 remains a top concern for us as a year-round essential service provider,” said Nancy Baglietto, executive director of Hospitality House. “When you dependably care for dozens of people in a confined space as Hospitality House does, it’s critical that we implement the most stringent of safety protocols to best protect not only the people we serve but our staff. Any new person seeking shelter at Hospitality House must stay in our provisional quarantine dorm as well as undergo COVID-19 testing, but this partnership brings the testing to us with faster results, making it even more accessible for our homeless population.”

Oct. 6 marked the first day of testing at the shelter. The COVID-19 test is a non-invasive, swab-based test used to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a strong indicator of a patient having an active COVID-19 infection even before symptoms develop. Testing results produce a 96.67 percent accuracy rate.

“Since it has been found that individuals experiencing homelessness are twice as likely to contract and spread COVID-19, we are proud to offer this service to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to better protect the community at large,” said Jennifer Malone, chief executive officer of Western Sierra Medical Clinic. Testing will continue twice a week for the foreseeable future. To date, the shelter has had no positive cases of COVID-19.

To help further services to those in need, the community’s support is always appreciated. Donations may be made to Hospitality House at, by calling 530-615-0852, or by sending a donation made payable to Hospitality House at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

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