Coronavirus Philadelphia: Temple’s Liacouras Center Accepts First COVID-19 Patient As Citywide Cases Top 9,500

The latest increase is due to a backlog in lab testing results from the weekend.

Coronavirus Philadelphia: Temple’s Liacouras Center Accepts First COVID-19 Patient As Citywide Cases Top 9,500

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Temple University’s Liacouras Center accepted its first COVID-19 patient on Monday as Philadelphia officials announced the city’s cases of the coronavirus have surpassed 9,500. Philadelphia now has 339 new cases, bringing the citywide total to 9,553.

The latest increase is due to a backlog in lab testing results from the weekend. Department of Health officials say they’re also seeing a rise in hospitalizations, with as many as 923 patients now in area hospitals.

With hospital beds and ICU units reaching capacity comes news of the city’s first patients being admitted to the Liacouras Center, the city’s field hospital surge facility.

“Just getting word the first patient has been accepted into the Liacouras Center,” Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy said.

The Liacouras Center has been constructed to treat patients 18 and older who do not require ventilators but are still in need of medical care during the final stage of their coronavirus recovery.

“We’ve seen a consistent increase in admissions to area hospitals because of the virus,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “We continue to work closely with hospitals in the Philadelphia area to ensure that all patients receive quality care.  It’s become clear that treating some patients at the CSF-Liacouras Center will help these hospitals continue to do that. We again thank Temple University for providing the facility and for its tremendous support throughout this process.”

Health officials who continue to see positive cases and hospital admissions rise say the worst may not be over for Philadelphia.

“We are not near the worst of this according to recent data,” Farley said.

The city has requested more funding from the federal government to address the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

CBS3’s Natasha Brown contributed to this report.

Source : CBS Philadelphia More   

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OC Judge Rejects Effort To Block Laguna Hills Hotel From Housing Homeless Coronavirus Patients

It's all part of Project Roomkey, a statewide California initiative in partnership with FEMA which launched earlier this month to temporarily house homeless people in available hotel and motel rooms

OC Judge Rejects Effort To Block Laguna Hills Hotel From Housing Homeless Coronavirus Patients

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – An Orange County Superior Court judge has rejected an effort to prevent a Laguna Hills hotel from housing homeless coronavirus patients.

The Laguna Hills Inn. April 15, 2020. (CBS2)

Earlier this month, Orange County signed a three-month contract with the 76-room Laguna Hills Inn to house COVID-19 patients.

It is all part of Project Roomkey, a statewide California initiative in partnership with FEMA which launched earlier this month to temporarily house homeless people in available hotel and motel rooms in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. State and local governments are then reimbursed by FEMA for up to 75 percent for the cost of those rooms.

Laguna Hills Mayor Janine Heft, along with area businesses, filed a lawsuit against the plan last week, claiming  a quarter of the city’s population is over the age of 65, putting them at risk..

However, the judge Monday rejected a request for a temporary restraining order against the hotel’s deal with the county.

“It’s not a secure facility,” Heft told CBS2 last week. “If you look at it, you’ve got a lot of places where they can walk out and that’s one of our concerns. If they want to leave, you know, who’s gonna forcibly keep them there?”

RELATED: Garcetti Announces Rapid Testing For Homeless, Pop-Up Facility On Skid Row

Kevin Akash, president of the hotel owner, Elite Hospitality Inc., said in court papers that he is “proud to work with the county of Orange” on Project Roomkey.

“Elite agreed to participate in Project Roomkey because it was the right thing to do,” Akash said. “We want to do everything we can to help our community during this time of crisis. By providing temporary lodging to those in need, we will allow them to isolate, stem the spread of the COVID-19 and lessen the impact on local hospitals and on our community as a whole.”

In the O.C. community of Laguna Woods, the Ayres Hotel earlier this month was forced to back out of a plan to house homeless individuals who either test positive for coronavirus or are showing symptoms following protest from a nearby retirement community.

The Los Angeles County cities of Lawndale and Bell Gardens are also considering legal action to try and stop local hotels from being used to house the homeless as part of Project Roomkey. That prompted attorneys for L.A. County Friday to request an emergency hearing.

The Covina City Council also held a special meeting Friday to debate whether to try and halt an effort to use one of its local hotels.

Source : CBS Los Angeles More   

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