Coronavirus continues to spread on the streets of Boston, with five homeless people testing positive over the past few days. A statewide Massachusetts lockdown puts the homeless community at risk of transmitting the disease amongst each other.
The virus puts the community at a vulnerable risk due to close proximity of residents on the streets and homeless shelters.
According to Marty Martinez, Human and Health Services Chief of Boston, one of the five homeless residents who was infected had spent time at the Pine Street Inn and another shelter before testing positive for the virus. City public health officials were able to quarantine around 15 people who had been in contact with the person infected.
These people have not begun showing signs of the virus.
“We were able to do that, immediately get people out of the shelter, reduce the risk, and really do everything to keep people protected,” Martinez stated to The Boston Globe.
Shelter operators have begun taking additional precautions through testing and temporary isolation shelters located in tents outside the area shelters. Each tent can accommodate around 20 people.
Along with these tents, new spaces will be available for the homeless community with the next coming weeks. According to The Boston Globe, these new shelters will hold an additional 240 beds.