Priority will be given to seniors, anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, and those who tested positive for COVID-19.READ MORE: New York City Mayoral Candidates Eric Adams, Curtis Sliwa Meet For First Debate
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.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and PreventionREAD MORE: Suspected Human Remains Found In Florida Wildlife Preserve Where Authorities Are Searching For Brian Laundrie
“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.MORE NEWS: Former President Bill Clinton Returns To New York Home After Being Hospitalized In California
“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.