BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A group of protesters shouted and honked their car horns while Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and local officials tried to address residents on the latest on the city’s coronavirus response.
A man wearing a mask stood in front of a sign that said “homeless can’t stay home” and asked for the mayor’s help to address the coronavirus epidemic among the city’s homeless population.READ MORE: Some Marylanders Plan To Take Precautions As COVID-19 Positivity Rate Rises Above 3 Percent
City press conference interrupted by protesters asking for permanent housing for the City’s homeless community & that it ensure social distancing practices against #Covid19.
“We desperately need your help,” one protester says. @wjz pic.twitter.com/Yv9H0MuznX
— Rachel Menitoff (@RachelMenitoff) April 21, 2020
“I do not want to die this way,” the man said, urging the city to look at how dangerous it is to house the homeless in shelters and to find them more permanent housing.
“These people in shelters and encampments are dying,” said Mark Council with Housing Our Neighbors.
Demonstrators say the "Homeless can't stay home" and need the City to move all homeless residents out of shelters and into permanent housing. Demonstrators continue to honk throughout Mayor’s press conference. @wjz
— Rachel Menitoff (@RachelMenitoff) April 21, 2020READ MORE: Parts Of Westbound Lanes On Moravia Road To Close Temporarily For Road Repairs
Young was in the middle of giving an update about a new testing site open in the city.
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The mayor paused and allowed the man to continue to speak. When the protestor finished, the mayor began to speak again, but then was cut off by honking car horns.
The mayor continued to speak over the car horns. The demonstrators said they honked 32 times to represent the 32 homeless individuals who have died in Washington, D.C., and New York.
When asked after the press conference, how the city is working to protect the homeless from the virus, the mayor asked if reporters had seen the previous plan released on March 25.
“The city has relocated about 160 homeless individuals who were, who were 62 and over, who were not impacted by COVID,” a city official said. “So they’ve been relocated into hotel settings to help isolate them and protect them from the spread of the virus. The city also created another shelter environment and moved 155 homeless individuals out of existing shelters into a much larger facility to allow for more social distancing in that facility as well as the remaining shelters.”
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“The city also opened an isolation location, which was a motel starting on March 20. That location has approximately 100 hotel rooms and they are currently full so we are currently isolating 100 people who are either have either tested for COVID-19 or awaiting their test results or have tested positive,” the official continued.MORE NEWS: Frederick County Surveying Residents About Internet Access To Identify Underserved Areas