Ventura County secures motels to shelter homeless as virus spreads, infecting another 17 people

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Ventura County has secured housing at motels in three cities to shelter the homeless population as the novel coronavirus continues spreading, infecting another 17 people there as of Monday.

Health officials have reported a total of 126 infections in the county, describing the vast majority as “active cases” — just 16 patients have recovered. Four people have died of the virus and another 28 patients had to be hospitalized at some point, officials said.

A total of 2,213 people have been tested, according to county health officials.

Working to curb the growth in cases, the county has secured housing at motels in Oxnard, Ventura and Newbury Park, according to Ventura County spokeswoman Ashley Bautista.

Nonprofits, county and city agencies and other groups that work with the homeless will referral individuals who can then receive housing from the county, Bautista wrote in a statement.

“County agencies are coordinating to provide transportation, medical and mental health care, nutritional needs and on-site security,” Bautista wrote. “Persons are medically evaluated before they are cleared for intake.”

In neighboring Los Angeles County, at least two people who health officials described as homeless have been infected with coronavirus. City officials there have secured 900 motel and hotel rooms as well as recreation centers and trailers to shelter people needing to quaratine because they are awaiting test results or were possibly infected.

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