Nevada Paints Social Distancing Boxes in Parking Lot For Homeless People to Sleep In

In Nevada, the coronavirus crisis has led to drawing social distancing lines around homeless people as they sleep in a parking lot.

"Nevada, a state in one of the richest countries in the world, has painted social-distancing boxes on a concrete parking lot for the homeless to sleep in," wrote Twitter user Social Distancing Mancino Williams, above a picture of the parking lot.

The pictures came after a Catholic Charities homeless shelter reported that a homeless man who used its services tested positive for the coronavirus, which forced the shelter to move to an outdoor location in Las Vegas.

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According to a joint statement from the city of Las Vegas and Clark County, the parking lot shelter at the Cashman Center will remain open until April 3, when they except Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada will reopen.

"Due to the closure of Catholic Charities, we are joining up with @CityOfLasVegas & area homeless providers to set up a temporary shelter @ Cashman Center. It will open tonight and run through April 3, when Catholic Charities will reopen," Clark County wrote on its Twitter account.

In a separate tweet, Clark County said the temporary outdoor shelter will provide the homeless with mats placed 6 feet apart to abide by social distancing policies, which are part of the effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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Speaking with Las Vegas news station KLAS, Lisa Morris Hibbler, the city's chief community services officer, said, "We have it spaced so that they're social distancing."

She added, "We know we have one job as a public servant, and that is to serve the community, and I think that we're showing that we do that well."

While the homeless get shelter during the time Catholic Charities is closed, medical students from Touro University have volunteered to help out at the temporary facility.

"Touro University med students & physician asst. students have arrived to help with our temp. homeless facility at Cashman Center," Clark County wrote.

The Touro University students will screen the homeless before they come into the shelter, looking for symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.

"In case somebody may come down with symptoms or whatever, they can get on that right away," Michael Hamilton, a homeless man in Las Vegas, told KLAS.

The novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, and continues to spread across the world. According to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, there are over 156,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and over 2,800 deaths. In Nevada, there are at least 1,008 confirmed cases and 15 deaths.

Coronavirus in U.S.
People start to arrive on March 28 at a temporary homeless shelter set up in a parking lot at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas. Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada was closed this week after a homeless man who used its services tested positive for the coronavirus, leaving about 500 people with no overnight shelter. Ethan Miller/Getty
Nevada Paints Social Distancing Boxes in Parking Lot For Homeless People to Sleep In | U.S.