RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced Thursday that the city will offer a program that would allow COVID-19 positive individuals isolate safely in secure hotels if they are unable to do so at home.
Research shows that supported isolation limits the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, a prolonged, secure period of self-isolation is not possible for everyone.
“The truth is that not all people are safer at home,” said the mayor. “Some aren’t fortunate enough to have a home large enough to isolate from loved ones.”
The program, designed for COVID-19 positive individuals with a demonstrated need, was made possible using funding from the Cares Act, which the federal government made available last week.
The program will be facilitated by Richmond City Health District.
The health district will also partner with the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care, a coalition of service providers with expertise in the intersection of physical security and human services due to their charge of aiding those experiencing homelessness.
The Family Crisis Fund will help provide isolated residents with basic needs such as food and COVID-19 related primary care,
“Let me be clear: this program is specifically for those who cannot isolate safely, not a vacation for those who can,” said Mayor Stoney. “These COVID-19 patients will be cared for and sheltered for the good of themselves, their families, and the entire city.”
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.