CA Congresswoman questions plan to house COVID-19 patients at Pomona Fairplex hotel

Congresswoman Norma J. Torres wants more details about LA County’s plan

Mar.March 24, 2020 02:38 PM
Congresswoman Norma J. Torres and the Sheraton Fairplex (Credit: Marriott and Twitter)
Congresswoman Norma J. Torres and the Sheraton Fairplex (Credit: Marriott and Twitter)

A California Congressional Representative for a large swath of eastern Los Angeles County is pumping the brakes on a county plan to house quarantined coronavirus patients at the Sheraton Fairplex hotel in Pomona.

Citing a lack of clarity in the county’s plan, Congresswoman Norma J. Torres rejected the use of all 244 rooms at the hotel for patients, according to City News Service. She said she didn’t have input on the plan, so she “cannot in good conscience endorse it either.”

Her stance puts her at odds with L.A. County health officials and County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who announced the plan to use the Sheraton Fairplex last week. Officials and the hotel’s management agreed to open up the space to patients through May 31st with an option to extend the arrangement for an additional month.

Torres said she wanted to make sure that the county prevented patients from leaving the hotel. She said she’s concerned it’s not a “lockdown facility.”

“With a senior mobile home right down the street, several assisted living facilities just blocks away, and too many group homes for severely handicapped people to count all nearby, what plans are in place for when someone leaves?” Torres said, according to City News Service.

At least 11 people have died after contracting COVID-19 and 662 people are confirmed to have the illness in L.A. County. Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that California will need 50,000 beds for coronavirus patients, according to the L.A. Times.

The city of L.A. has shut down high-traffic businesses and barred evictions for commercial and residential tenants in the city. The City Council looks to extend that moratorium to a year. [The Hub, City News Service]Dennis Lynch

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