The coronavirus poses a major threat to homeless populations in San Francisco, LA, and Seattle — the two crises could soon intersect

The coronavirus poses a major threat to homeless populations in San Francisco, LA, and Seattle — the two crises could soon intersect

Business·2020-03-10 20:19

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San Francisco and Los Angeles of coronavirus cases, and they also have large homeless populations.

The risk of is high among people living on the streets or in shelters.

Advocates say cities need to do more educational outreach, increase hand-washing stations and restroom access, and send medical treatment teams to public areas where people are living.

For the latest coronavirus case totals, death tolls, and travel information, see .

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California has more than 130 cases of coronavirus – a number increasing by the day. The best ways to avoid contracting the virus are washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and keeping your distance from sick people. But for the over 150,000 people in the state who sleep on the streets, in their cars, or in shelters, taking these precautions is nearly impossible.

San Francisco, which has at least 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus and has declared a state of emergency, had 8,011 homeless people in 2019. People experiencing homelessness often lack access to bathrooms, areas where they can self-quarantine, and adequate healthcare resources. So they are at a high risk of contracting the virus and also may not seek treatment – which threatens their own lives and could help the virus spread.

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