Pomona hotel to be used as temporary housing for COVID-19 patients, individuals awaiting test results

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- The Sheraton Hotel in Pomona will provide temporary housing through 244 single-occupancy rooms for novel coronavirus patients and those showing symptoms and waiting test results.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health entered the agreement with the Fairplex, home of the L.A. County Fair, to use the 500-acre campus during the health crisis. As of Sunday, the number of COVID-19 cases in the county reached 409. Health officials have confirmed five deaths as a result across the region.

The hotel will help divert patients dealing with mild to moderate symptoms of the virus, freeing up beds in local hospitals for more severe cases. During their stay at the hotel, patients will receive medical care while they recuperate from the illness.

"Our overwhelmed health care system will not be able to admit every person with mild symptoms of COVID-19. As we contain the spread of this virus, we need quarantine sites where people can receive care and heal," L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement.

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The hotel will be closed to the public from March 23 to May 31, with the option to extend for another four weeks.

In addition, the Fairplex will open the doors to its child development center for the children of healthcare workers and first responders working during the crisis.

The campus will also be used to help L.A. County residents in need with a drive-thru food pantry, in partnership with La Verne-based food bank Sowing Seeds for Life.

"Those families who need food during this critical time will drive-thru, open up their trunk and in a safe way receive food at no cost that they can continue to provide elements to themselves and to their families," said Fairplex President and CEO Miguel Santana in a video.

The food pantry will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis on the first and third Wednesday of the month starting on April 1. Residents will be required to show identification.

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