Durham County secures 225 rooms at Marriott hotel to reduce density in homeless shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As homeless shelters fill up during the novel coronavirus crisis, the Durham Board of County Commissioners is looking to relieve overcrowding and find alternatives.

The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $1.6 million contract with the Durham Marriott-RT at 4700 Guardian Drive that will allow for the housing of homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Why homeless are especially at risk for coronavirus

Starting Friday through July 9, the contract is for 225 rooms.

"During this pandemic crisis, our homeless population is among our most vulnerable residents at risk for infection," Board Chairwoman Wendy Jacobs said in a release. "In addition, people living in congregate sites like our shelters are especially at high risk with the potential for rapid spread."

The action follows CDC guidelines by securing individual rooms to allow for proper social distancing.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.