Homeless people in Las Vegas have been corralled into a disused parking lot and made to sleep less than six feet apart on the concrete after a resident at their shelter caught Coronavirus.
LAST week a homeless man at the Catholic Charities’ homeless shelter tested positive for Covid-19, forcing it to close and leaving 500 people without a place to sleep.
The city of Las Vegas provided the vacant parking lot of Cashman Centre on Saturday night. They rolled out a thin layer of carpet for one section of the concrete, but another has been left bare.
Furthermore, in contravention of CDC guidelines on social distancing, the homeless are sleeping within painted boxes which do not keep them six feet apart.
It comes as the number of people infected by the deadly contagion in Nevada reached 920, with 15 deaths, with a total of more than 142,000 cases in the US and 2,509 deaths.
Las Vegas casinos have been shut down because of the outbreak and showbiz acts have cancelled appearances.
In a statement on Saturday, Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones said, “We’re proud to be working in collaboration with the city to meet the needs of our homeless population and appreciate the quick response of the participants in standing up the facility so soon.”
The fully open-air facility, which is open to the homeless from 6pm to 8am, is anticipated to remain until at least April 3 or however long it takes for the Catholic Charities shelter to re-open.
Touro University medical students and physician assistant students volunteered at the parking lot over the weekend as the city authorities set up the temporary facility.
Freeman’s Carpet Service, GES Exposition Services and the Teamsters were among those helping with provisions for the homeless.
“We’ve had Republic Services donating trash resources, Touro University med students will be over here doing screening, so we’ve really seen the community come together,” Jones said.
“All the government agencies and other folks to make sure that we serve our homeless population.”