Health care workers protest latest sweeps of NYC homeless encampment as COVID cases rise
Health care workers are calling on the city to provide proper isolation from COVID-19 for those experiencing homelessness – one of the most vulnerable populations to the virus as cases rise.
Doctors, nurses and other workers gathered at Roberto Clemente Plaza in the Bronx to protest the city’s recent sweeps of homeless encampments. The latest sweep occurred last week in Chinatown.
Early in the pandemic, the city temporarily placed some homeless New Yorkers in hotels. But as pandemic restrictions eased, those communities were forced to either transfer to shelters or go back on the streets.
Those who have stayed in city shelters have told News 12 that they are often dangerous and too crowded to practice social distancing.
Health care workers say they believe the city should prioritize permanent affordable housing over shutting down encampments.
The city's COVID-19 positivity rate is currently just under 15%, and city data shows that number is climbing.