Trailers to House Transients With COVID-19 Begin Arriving in Orange County

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
April 9, 2020Updated: April 10, 2020

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CNS) – Orange County has begun receiving trailers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help house transients afflicted with COVID-19, officials said on April 8.

Orange County was assigned 78 trailers from the state, with Anaheim taking 39 and Santa Ana accepting 22. They began arriving on the night of April 7.

The remaining 17 were given to the county, with officials expected to use them where needed.

Officials were connecting the trailers to services on April 8.

So far, Anaheim has received 10, spokesman Mike Lyster said.

Some of Anaheim’s trailers will be sent to its Salvation Army-run Anaheim Emergency Shelter on Lewis Street, south of Ball Road. Last month, two staff members were diagnosed with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus—but tests of 34 residents came back negative, Lyster said.

Ten of the transients at the shelter who have heart or respiratory conditions have been placed in a hotel, where the city has rented rooms for them, Lyster said.

Some of the FEMA trailers will be sent to the hotel, and some will be stored at the city’s convention center until they are needed, he added.

City officials were also working to set up temporary shelter space at the Salvation Army’s thrift store near La Palma Park, Lyster said.

The city plans to house 49 women at that shelter, and the trailers may be used there as well to isolate anyone who falls ill to the virus, he added.

Santa Ana officials intend “to utilize the trailers for isolation units for those homeless in our shelter that test positive for COVID-19,” said Paul Eakins, a spokesman for Santa Ana. The city has not had a transient test positive for the virus so far, he added.

The city plans to place the trailers in the parking lot of its homeless shelter, The Link. Fifteen of the trailers arrived on April 7, and the rest are due soon, he added.

County officials are planning to rent rooms in area hotels and motels to house ailing transients, because it is too difficult to deploy social distancing techniques in the county’s shelters, officials said.

So far, the county has rented rooms in hotel-motels in Orange and Stanton. Another one in South Orange County is expected to be set up soon.

The program is a “lockdown” one that restricts transients from coming and going from the hotels and motels.

Face Coverings

In addition, Orange County’s chief health officer on April 9 issued a recommendation “strongly encouraging” face coverings for workers at essential businesses which remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Nichole Quick—who has the authority to mandate the action—stopped short of doing so.

Her order was issued two days after the Orange County Board of Supervisors rejected Supervisor Andrew Do’s motion to make face coverings mandatory for at least food industry workers. On April 9, Do declined to comment on Dr. Quick’s recommendation.

Quick said the recommendation follows guidance from the California Department of Public Health issued on April 1.

“Residents can make their own face coverings at home from a variety of materials and should refrain from purchasing personal protective equipment that is critical and in short supply for our healthcare workers, such as N95 and surgical masks,” Quick said.

A face covering should be worn over the nose and mouth, she said. Any sort of ties or straps should be used to secure it to the head. They can be factory-made, folded, sewn, or improvised from common household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels, she said.

“Face coverings are an additional tool that may help protect staff and patrons from COVID-19, but they are not a substitute for proven protective measures like frequent hand washing, keeping your hands away from your face, practicing social distancing, and staying home,” she said.

Officials, meanwhile, are awaiting guidance from the county’s chief health officer about requiring face coverings for food industry workers amid the pandemic.

Beginning on April 10, Los Angeles will make face coverings for workers mandatory. The city of Irvine issued an order on April 8, making them mandatory, with the City Council expected to ratify it on April 10. San Diego County adopted a similar policy during the week ending April 3.

Orange County now has 1,079 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths.


The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.