Public health officials are warning Americans to stay home, avoid any unnecessary travel, and limit contact with others as ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
But what happens when you don’t have a home? How do you practice social distancing when, at best, the only barrier between you and your neighbor is a nylon tent wall?
That’s the question facing the more than 151,000 homeless individuals in California, and one that is vexing lawmakers and public health workers as they try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among a particularly vulnerable segment of the state’s population.
“This is a serious public health issue and I’m concerned that it is going to have a very devastating effect on the homeless,” Jeffrey Norris, the medical director at Father Joe’s Villages, a homeless outreach organization in San Diego, told Fox News.
Norris added: “Many have medical comorbidities – diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease – that put them at a higher risk. Many elderly folks experience homelessness. Whether they live on the streets or in dense shelters, they have a high prevalence in risk factors.”
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