More than a dozen people at Brockton homeless shelter test positive for coronavirus

BROCKTON, MASS. (WHDH) - More than a dozen people at a homeless shelter in Brockton have tested positive for coronavirus, officials said.

A number of individuals living together in tight quarters at the city’s MainSpring homeless shelter tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

“Homeless shelters lack the spatial dimensions and the capacity needed to do social distancing,” said Joe Finn, of the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance. “When the virus is introduced into that population it can spread rather rapidly.”

On any given day, as many as 100 people visit the shelter for a place to lay their head and get a hot meal.

Come Friday, three heated tents that have been set up in Perkins Park will give Brockton’s homeless population another spot to seek shelter, according to Mayor Robert F. Sullivan.

“The purpose is to minimize exposure and to spread out the numbers of people who are there,” he told 7NEWS.

Two tents will provide cots, which be placed six feet apart. The third tent will serve as a dining area.

Sullivan said the city was eyeing the fieldhouse at Massasoit Community College as a site for the homeless but plans didn’t come to fruition.

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