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    Supporting Member

    what does shelter in place mean when you're homeless?

    This is from Homeless Action!

    [email protected], from adrienne Lauby,

    For Immediate Release

    What: SRPD Risks Exposing Unhoused Community and the General Population to COVID-19 by Disregarding CDC Guidance Against Dispersing Unhoused Encampments

    When: Tuesday March 24 2020, 2:45 pm

    Today the city of Santa Rosa issued a statement admitting two of its officers had tested positive for SARS-Cov-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 global pandemic.

    Because the virus is passed through respiratory droplets in close quarters and on surfaces, the revelation that SRPD officers have tested positive for the virus indicates that all SRPD personnel are potentially exposed to the virus and should be following strict quarantine protocols.

    Instead, at 2:45 pm today, SRPD officer Berg and one other officer were observed by members of our outreach teams engaging directly with unhoused community members at Doyle Park with the intent to disperse the unhoused community members. At least one of these officers was observed to be lacking the personal protective equipment (PPE) required to minimize spread of the virus. Please see attached images.

    SRPD leadership has chosen to apply county-wide park closures to our unhoused community members in direct contravention of federal Centers for Disease Control guidance, in particular “Unless individual housing units are available, do not clear encampments during community spread of COVID-19. Clearing encampments can cause people to disperse throughout the community and break connections with service providers. This increases the potential for infectious disease spread.”

    The actions of SRPD are putting the entire community at risk.

    We demand public health officials and police departments throughout the county, especially SRPD, immediately cease all encampment “sweeps” and work together to protect unsheltered people by, at a minimum, assisting them in setting up safe camps in empty parks with proper social distancing, hand washing, and sanitizing supplies per CDC guidelines, and lending such assistance only while utilizing PPE.

    Alternatively, local governments must make use of the hundreds of vacant AirBnB units or otherwise vacant residential and commercial properties in the county to house the most vulnerable members of our community.

    Santa Rosa city government and SRPD are already under heavy scrutiny for trampling the human rights of our unhoused community members. Today’s incident shows they’re also willing to endanger the lives and well-being of the rest of the community by failing to heed basic health guidelines.

    The shameful manner in which our local governments are managing the manifold crises of our day demonstrates a profound lack of leadership and disdain for the rights of Sonoma county residents. We demand better.

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