Coronavirus News: Homeless shelters should be reopened across the state, Cuomo says

COVID-19 News and Information
NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is also calling on local governments to re-open homeless shelters as homeless encampments proliferate amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Not only is a homeless encampment a violation of that person's dignity, it's a public health threat now," he said.

The encampments are located primarily in urban areas across the state, he said, and area residents are complaining about them.

"Local governments closed shelters during COVID, they should reopen those shelters," he said. "We know how to open schools, restaurants, flexible art space, shelters. The weather is getting cold. Nobody should be living on the street, especially in the middle of a global health pandemic."

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He said the rising number of homeless individuals should be a concern to everyone.

"The public is anxious with their own public health, I'm anxious about the health of homeless people," he said. "The cities, counties, should reopen their shelters."

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He said the state will put out guidance later this week.

"They know how to make a facility COVID safe," Cuomo said. "The shelters have to open. It's getting cold. Get homeless people off the street and into a shelter."

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The sense of doom grew, especially after March 1, when the first confirmed case arrived in Manhattan. Soon, there was a hotspot in New Rochelle, and small curfews and containment zones across the area offered a hint of a frightening future we still thought we could avoid.



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