Los Angeles County is ready to pay for hundreds of hotel and motel rooms to house people exposed to Covid-19 or who are under medical quarantine.
The county is soliciting price quotes for blocks of rooms over the coming days, Mayor Eri Garcetti said in a Twitter message sent Sunday night.
The move appears aimed primarily at housing patients experiencing homelessness, but the county said it also plans to provide rooms to “individuals whose current housing situation does not allow them to self-quarantine at home.” Los Angeles County tallied 59,000 people living on the street in a survey last year.
In his message Sunday, Garcetti shared a link to a survey hotel operators could fill out, and said “900+” rooms will be used for isolation and quarantine. Last week, the mayor said “anyplace is on the table” to house coronavirus patients, including sports stadiums and theaters.
L.A. County is already in talks to book all 244 rooms at the Sheraton Fairplex in Pomona to house coronavirus patients. Congresswoman Norma J. Torres criticized that plan over concerns that patients would be barred from leaving the hotel.
Other cities have adopted similar measures of using hotels to house Covid-19 patients in an effort to alleviate overcrowding at hospitals. In L.A., the move comes as the state remains under a stay-at-home order and with the hospitality industry devastated by the pandemic. Many of L.A.’s hotels have closed, putting thousands of people out of work.