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North Carolina to turn 16,500 hotel rooms, dorms into housing for people at risk of COVID-19

Governor Cooper's office said FEMA has approved federal funding for North Carolina to provide housing for people with unstable living conditions.

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina received approval from FEMA to provide housing alternatives, such as hotels, motels and dorms for people with unstable housing during the coronavirus outbreak, according to a release from Gov. Roy Cooper's office. 

State officials said the funding will turn 16,500 spaces into alternative housing for those most at-risk for getting the virus. 

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“North Carolinians without stable housing still need places to go if they have a mild case of COVID-19 or need to quarantine after being exposed to the virus. These types of alternatives will help people who have no other safe options to self-isolate or social distance while we slow the spread of this virus,” Cooper said.

The state will work with local partners to provide more than 16,500 units of individual housing in dormitories, hotels, trailers, or other facilities to the following: 

  • People who test positive for COVID-19 and need to be isolated but do not require hospitalization, including those discharged from hospitals
  • People exposed to COVID-19 and identified by a health care professional as needing quarantine but do not need hospitalization
  • People needing social distancing as a precautionary measure, as determined by public health officials, particularly for high-risk groups such as people older than 65 or with certain underlying health conditions such as respiratory illness, compromised immune system or chronic disease. This may include those whose living situation makes them unable to adhere to social distancing guidance.

State officials said FEMA will pay 75 percent of the costs associated with this sheltering program. North Carolina will pay the remaining 25 percent. Funding includes the cost of all supporting infrastructure, as well as services like laundry, food, cleaning, and security. 

Businesses such as hotels, colleges, and other large scale facilities that may be able to serve as non-congregate facilities can email BEOC@ncdps.gov

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