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L.A. Public Officials Explain The “Room-Key” initiative and what it means for the Homeless population during COVID-19 Pandemic
By Bettie Halsell
Published April 9, 2020

Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Public Health (Courtesy Photo)


Wednesday, April 8. The L.A. Emergency Operations Center provided the latest updates surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. All county departments and partner agencies are looking for innovative ways to serve the Los Angeles community during this time of uncertainty. Los Angeles county officials go into detail on what measures are being taken on behalf of those that are higher risk and most vulnerable, which include L.A. natives exposed to the elements daily without shelter and senior citizens.   



There are 250 available testing kits at this site. On Friday, April 3. California State Governor Gavin Newsom announced the “Room-Key” Initiative. The plan is to assist with creating shelters to families that are experiencing homelessness, during a time when a lethal virus can be airborne. The initiative includes leasing hotels and motels, the goal is to secure 15,000 rooms. Los Angeles officials are looking to take preventative measuresthere are partnerships with hotels and motels across the Los Angeles and the available room numbers continue to grow. Project Room-Key is a “massive undertaking,” it will provide all-inclusive services, such as meals, sanitation, mental health, and health care services during this pandemic.   


As of April 8. public officials announced a partnership with the L.A. College District, to open a “Drive Thru” testing site in East Los Angeles Community College. The testing location is available seven days a week, from 9am-5pm.  The drive-up site assist individuals in East Los Angeles, Monterey Park, and the surrounding communities. To check if your eligible for testing please go to the following website: Due to limiting resources, testing is still limited. The people who are eligible are those most vulnerable, are the ages 65 and older with underlining health conditions.  


Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health informed Los Angeles about recent status of coronavirus.  The director of Public Health stated there 324 confirmed cases of healthcare workers, testing positive with COVID-19 virus. Barbara mentioned the three main settings of contracting the virus are hospitals, outpatient facilities, and emergency medical services. 



 Ferrer articulated on April 8. there were 29 additional deaths, 17 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 16 of them had underlining health conditions. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 198. Barbara disclosed as of April 8. There are 620 new COVID-19 reports. In summary there is a total amount of 7,530 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region. Within the last 48 hours, there has been 1,070 COVID-19 reports.  


These accumulated reports are reflective of 256 incidents in Long Beach and 80 reports coming from Pasadena. Of these new cases, 12 individuals who have tested positive were unsheltered. Approximately 21% of those infected with COVID-19 are hospitalized at some point. Updated statistics reflects 2.6% of carriers of the coronavirus have died, which is higher than the general mortality rate for influenza related deaths in the United States. 

Categories: COVID-19 | News
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