Hennepin County opens another hotel to people facing homelessness allowing for isolation amid pandemic

More help is coming as the coronavirus pandemic further complicates the lives of people left without a place to call home.

Hennepin County announced Friday they are using a third hotel as a shelter for people facing homelessness.

Compared to normal shelters, where people may end up packed into a common space, leaving little room for social distancing, hotel rooms will allow isolation for residents.

The new temporary site will be used mostly for people who have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results.

As of Friday, five residents had moved into the new space from other shelters. Two are awaiting test result and none have tested positive.

At the two other hotel sites, 37 people have been isolated with flu-like symptoms but none with positive COVID-19 tests. Nineteen have recovered and 18 will remain until they recover.

Working with shelter managers, so far 233 "high-risk" residents have been moved from shelters to isolation sites. Of those, 153 are seniors and 80 have other risk factors.