For Immediate Release
Media Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coalition for the Homeless Calls on City to Protect Homeless New Yorkers from Omicron Variant
The following statement can be attributed to Jacquelyn Simone, Policy Director for the Coalition for the Homeless:
“With the Omicron variant surging in New York City, we once again see evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading quickly within congregate shelters. As the Coalition has repeatedly stated since the pandemic started, dorm-style shelters are simply not appropriate settings for anyone during the outbreak of an airborne infectious disease like COVID-19. Many shelters remain poorly ventilated, few people are able to wear masks while sleeping in group settings, and there is no way for individuals in dorms to practice social distancing. These are exactly the conditions that facilitate rapid viral spread.
“Mayor de Blasio’s misguided decision to prematurely transfer thousands of adults from pandemic hotel rooms back to congregate shelters this summer continues to place the most vulnerable people in our city at heightened risk of serious illness or death. New York City must use all available resources, including single-occupancy hotel rooms, to give New Yorkers without homes safe, private dwellings for the duration of the pandemic.”