MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — At least two hotels in the Twin Cities have recently begun taking in people experiencing homelessness, in order to remove them from their previous congregate living settings where the spread of COVID-19 would have been more likely.
Hennepin County officials say that at one of these hotels, 37 people were in isolation with flu-like symptoms. 19 of them have since recovered, while 18 will remain in isolation until they become asymptomatic. None have tested positive for COVID-19.
Throughout all of this, Metro Transit bus drivers have been transporting more and more homeless people to the hotels.
Now on Friday, the county says a third hotel has dedicated isolation spaces for people experiencing homelessness.
The new site is specifically meant for people who are awaiting test results or who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Since April 1, five residents have already been moved into new spaces in the hotel. As of Friday morning, county officials say none had tested positive, but two are still waiting for their test results to come back.
The plan is to continue to work with homeless shelter and health professionals to identify healthy but especially high-risk people experiencing homelessness.
In total, 233 high-risk residents have been moved from congregate shelter settings into hotel sites, including 153 seniors and 80 other high-risk residents, according to a release.