In the public interest.
San Francisco is spending $5 million to deep-clean homeless shelters and SROs as the coronavirus outbreak threatens the city’s most vulnerable residents
- San Francisco is spending $US5 million to protect members of its homeless population amid a coronavirus outbreak in the city.
- The funding will be used to hire cleaning crews that will sanitize homeless shelters, supportive housing buildings, and SROs daily.
- San Francisco now has 13 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease and is taking precautions to contain the disease, but those living on the streets are more at risk of contracting infectious diseases.
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Meal offerings will also be made more available at shelters and SROs to encourage occupants to stay indoors. The funding will allow the city to keep up with the daily cleaning and the around-the-clock shelter hours for a few months, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The city of San Francisco now has 13 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19. The mayor declared a state of emergency on February 25 that would make it easier for officials to access resources and funding needed to address a potential outbreak. Companies are advising employees to work from home, large events exceeding 50 people are banned at city-owned facilities until March 20, and some of the biggest annual tech conferences to be held in the city have been cancelled or turned into virtual events in an attempt to contain the disease.
But those living on the streets are more at risk of contracting infectious diseases such as the coronavirus, in San Francisco and in other US cities. A 2019 count placed the number of homeless individuals in the city at 8,011.Many don’t have the luxury of taking the recommended precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19, like handwashing and keeping a distance from sick people, as Business Insider’s Holly Secon reported.
Other major cities with coronavirus outbreaks with large homeless populations, like Seattle, are facing similar obstacles, as Secon reports.