SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Right now, the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds serves as a drive thru COVID-19 testing site.

In addition, it will soon be a homeless shelter during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s usually a space for concerts, holiday parties and events that host thousands of people.

“We have a number of toy shows,” Abraham Andrade said. “We have reptile shows, jurassic park, which is a dinosaur show.”

From entertainment to now crisis — the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds will soon be a temporary homeless shelter to stop the spread of COVID- 19 in the homeless community.

“As a result of the Santa Clara County Public Health director, we did shut down and so we were in a mode so that we can react quickly to assist,” Andrade said.

Maintaining our distance, County Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez and fairgrounds executive director Abraham Andrade gave KRON4 a tour Sunday.

The fairgrounds already serves as a verily drive thru COVID-19 testing center.

At 150 acres, it’s enough space for resources and to socially distance. People who will be staying there are coming from Santa Clara County shelters.

The goal is to spread people around to create safe environments at the current shelters.

15 trailers from the state are for homeless COVID-19 patients who don’t need to be hospitalized.

Gateway Hall will have 60 to 80 cots spread apart. Fiesta Hall will provide information on benefits and WiFi.

The space will make room for any homeless overflow.

Crews will start building the center on Monday. The homeless shelter will open by the end of the week.

In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, Santa Clara County and San Jose city officials have leased hotel rooms and apartment complexes and are also looking for more spaces to house those who tested positive and have been exposed to the virus.

The County of Santa Clara, City of San Jose and Continuum of Care partners are working together to address the needs of homeless individuals affected by the novel coronavirus. The initiative includes:

  • Preparing temporary shelter capacity at the county fairgrounds
  • Operating all existing shelters 24/7 and practicing proper social distancing
  • Keeping seasonal shelters open through April 15

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