Desert AIDS Project Gets Extra Boost To Fight COVID-19

Desert AIDS Project Gets Extra Boost To Fight COVID-19

Taylor Martinez

PALM SPRINGS (CNS) – New grant funding announced Tuesday will help a Palm Springs nonprofit continue caring for non-critical coronavirus patients, and testing others who may be infected, the group said Tuesday.

The Desert AIDS Project received a $50,000 grant from the Palm Desert- based Auen Foundation earmarked for the organization’s COVID-19 triage clinic that opened in March.

“Our goal is straightforward: save lives through COVID-19 testing and symptom treatment and save lives through keeping moderately ill people in our care verses overwhelming the valley’s emergency rooms,” said David Brinkman, CEO of the Desert AIDS Project. “This grant is helping us accomplish that.”

Inside the COVID-19 triage center, health care workers screen patients for symptoms common with the coronavirus, including high fevers, dry coughs or upper and lower respiratory issues.

The center is an outpatient facility and has no beds, according to Jack Bunting, a spokesman for the nonprofit. The clinic aims to divert patients who are suffering from mild to moderate symptoms away from local hospitals and doctor’s offices, in order to clear up space for those who need those resources.

“This actually helps preserve resources for the sickest,” Bunting said. “It also helps prevent some serious cases because people are getting checked out a bit earlier — before it gets `bad enough’ to go to emergency services.”

Desert AIDS Project was originally set up to serve those infected with or otherwise impacted by HIV or AIDS in the 1980s, but last month the nonprofit expanded its medical operations to begin treating infected coronavirus patients with non-serious symptoms, and screening others who may have caught the virus.

A drive-up COVID-19 operation was added earlier this month, which requires telephone screening prior to making an appointment.

In total, the clinic can see up to 50 patients a day.

To make an appointment to get tested for COVID-19, call 760-992-0407 to get screened over the phone.

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