Homeless residents in quarantine double or triple up in hotel rooms

The Anchorage Health Department on Wednesday reported a cumulative total of 193 cases of coronavirus at homeless shelters to date.

In the last 10 days, 42 new cases have emerged at shelters, Nicole Lebo told the Anchorage Assembly’s Committee on Homelessness. Of the nine people hospitalized, doctors have discharged three. Five remain hospitalized and one person has died, as has previously been reported.

Sixty-seven people are under investigation and quarantined, Lebo said. The individuals involved are staying at a downtown hotel where 36 are isolating because they have tested positive for COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, 93 rooms at the hotel were occupied by 111 people. Twenty-nine rooms are available.

“Sometimes with the positive cases we are doubling up within those rooms, and I think in some cases, or tripling up,” Lebo said.

City health officials, together with shelter operators, have encouraged the creation of bubbles to reduce the amount of personal mixing within the different shelter populations, she said.



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Paula Dobbyn

Paula Dobbyn is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News focusing on homelessness. She's a veteran Alaska journalist who has reported for the Anchorage Daily News, KTUU and the Alaska Public Radio Network. Contact her at