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Austin homeless provider says it was able to test about 80% of clients for coronavirus

Front Steps says it has been able to test about 80% of its clients for coronavirus. He says the tests were clear and Front Steps remains open.

AUSTIN, Texas — Front Steps, the organization that helps manage the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH), said about 80% of the people staying there have been tested for the coronavirus. 

The Downtown Austin homeless service provider said testing was done through a system of surveillance with Dell Seton and CommUnityCare Clinic

Greg McCormack, the executive director, said a majority of the staff has been tested too. 

McCormack said this testing is sometimes done in an area for people without symptoms in order to see if there's a problem so it can be caught early. 

He said that while he can't know the official results, he was told Front Steps did not need to take any further action on any clients or staff. McCormack said this means the tests were all clear.

RELATED: Salvation Army closes downtown shelter due to COVID-19

He said staff will remain diligent about cleaning, wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing. 

McCormack said Front Steps is still open and is looking into the next steps of bringing in more people. This comes after the Salvation Army announced its downtown shelter is temporarily closed "to ensure the health and well-being of residents and staff and as a necessary precaution to combat the spread of COVID-19."

McCormack said his hope is that Front Steps will continue to remain open to serve those who are homeless.

RELATED: Here's how the City of Austin is protecting the homeless from coronavirus

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