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Homeless population in Oakland begins moving into hotels during pandemic

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – With more than 280 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alameda County, on Monday Oakland began moving some members of the homeless population into state-leased hotels in hopes of providing relief for one of the most at-risk groups during the pandemic.

“We all feel anxious about self-isolating, and we feel anxious even when we have homes. this is an opportunity to give to folks so they can really self-isolate in a healthy way, to prevent them from not only getting the disease, but potentially spreading it,” Vivian Wan said. 

Some 393 hotel rooms are set to be made available at the Radisson Hotel and the Comfort Inn, both near Oakland International Airport. 

The first group to move in are those who have been diagnosed or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, folks who are over 65, or have chronic health conditions will move in.

“The state has in their lease contracted with the hotels to provide security, they’re providing a janitorial service, they’re providing our cooking, so they’re providing kind of the normal day-to-day things that a hotel would be able to provide,” Lori Cox said. 

The Alameda County Social Services Agency also said it hopes this will be a first step into getting many of the people served into permanent housing situations.

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