SHERMAN OAKS– A woman with coronavirus residing at the Sherman Oaks Hotel located in the 15000 block of Ventura Boulevard, left the hotel while under quarantine on Thursday, April 30, in the afternoon, she refused to return to the hotel which is part of a quarantine medical sheltering program through the city.
When the homeless woman refused to return to the hotel, shortly after 2:00 pm Hotel staff notified LAPD. Police officials reported the woman as a missing person. Police found the woman and after trying to persuade her to return to the hotel due to her illness, police had to release the woman. A police official told CBS2 the patients staying at these hotels diagnosed with COVID-19 can’t be forced to stay against their will.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held a news conference Thursday night commenting on the incident
“I think people out there understand that there are some people experiencing homelessness that can be very challenging in terms of mental health issues they have, and/or addiction problems that they have, we knew that long before COVID-19,” Garcetti said. “So you can never bat a thousand, but I’m really proud of how successful that it has been to keep most people there. It’s much safer than everyone being out there on the streets.”
Mayor Garcetti also indicated that some coronavirus patients who are not homeless may have also ignored the stay at home orders.
The medical sheltering program is not a state of California Project Roomkey initiative. Project Roomkey is in partnership with FEMA to shelter homeless people on a temporary basis in an available motel and hotel rooms to stop the spread of COVID-19. Local state and governments will be reimbursed by FEMA for up to 75 percent for room cost.
Los Angeles. County has contracts with 2,500 hotel room beds in cities in the Antelope Valley, the South Bay, the San Fernando Valley metropolitan L.A., and San Gabriel Valley to shelter homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic, according to City News Service.