With California’s death toll from the coronavirus topping 1,000, lawmakers are looking at ways to slow the spread, especially in vulnerable populations such as the homeless.
The pandemic that has plunged California — the world’s fifth-largest economy — into recession has hit hard. There are concerns the virus could sweep through the state’s 150,000 homeless, who are challenging to test and are vulnerable because many have chronic health conditions and lack safe places to quarantine themselves, health officials say.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has announced efforts to move thousands of transients into government-funded hotel rooms, was expected to focus on homelessness during a Saturday news briefing.
On Friday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that next week the city will begin sending medical teams to the streets to screen people for the virus. In the next few weeks, teams will also begin offering fast-result COVID-19 field tests and those who are infected will be offered transportation to shelters and hotel rooms set aside for them to be quarantined, Garcetti said.
“If we encounter somebody who’s living on the street or in their car, somebody who’s in a shelter who’s sick, they’ll…