NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city plans to move 6,000 homeless single adults, including those showing symptoms of coronavirus, out of the shelter system and into local hotels starting on Monday.

Priority will be given to seniors, anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, and those who tested positive for COVID-19.

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The move was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio during his media briefing on Saturday morning.

“It’s tough enough to not have a place to live,” the mayor said. “We want to keep people safe and healthy and make sure all the support they need is there for them.”

The 6,000 represents about one-third of the single clients of New York City’s overall shelter system, said de Blasio.

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“It’s clear to our Department of Social Services, our Department of Homeless Services, that social distancing cannot be achieved properly,” he said. “We will use those hotels aggressively as a tool to support homeless individuals, to strike the right balance in our shelters, to make sure people who need to be isolated are isolated.”

Homeless with coronavirus symptoms or confirmed COVID-19 infections will be kept isolated from others in the hotels.

“We have to protect everyone from COVID-19,” said de Blasio. “We also have to support the needs of homeless folks, well beyond COVID-19, folks who have serious physical issues that might need support with … but also a lot of whom have mental health issues, and need support and need services available to them constantly.”

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Last month, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said he was worried about the number of homeless on the subways. He said the mayor should put the street homeless in empty hotels.

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“The city should be getting these hotels, putting homeless New Yorkers in these hotels, isolating them, making sure they’re practicing social distancing. We need people off the subways. The only people that should be on the subways right now are the essential workers,” Johnson said.