SAN FRANCISCO (Up News Info / AP) – Pandemic circles – outlined areas for social estrangement – have sprung up in at least two popular hangouts in San Francisco: Mission Dolores Park and Civic Center.
About 80 tents are now neatly located on a wide street near San Francisco City Hall as part of a "safe sleeping town,quot; opened last week. The area between the city's central library and its Museum of Asian Art is fenced in for outsiders, monitored throughout the day, and provides meals, showers, clean water, and garbage collection.
In announcing the camp, and a second to open in the famous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the Mayor of San Francisco acknowledged that he did not want to approve the tents, but that unregulated mushroom tents on the sidewalks was neither safe nor fair.
"So while in normal times I would say we should focus on getting people inside and not sanctioning the tent camps, we frankly don't have many other options right now," he said in a tweet last week.
Nicholas Woodward, 37, is camping in the safe place to sleep, but said he preferred to sleep in his tent before the city entered; he finds fencing underestimating and rules too controlling. His friend Nathan Rice, 32, said he would rather have a hotel room than a sidewalk tent, even if the city provides clean food and water.
"I hear it on the news, I hear from people here that they are going to get us hotel rooms," he said. "That's what we want, you know, to be safe inside."
San Francisco has moved 1,300 homeless people to hotel rooms and RVs as part of a state program to house vulnerable people, but the mayor has been criticized for moving too slowly. She said she is not willing to move the city's 8,000 homeless to hotels, despite complaints from advocates that overcrowded stores are a public health disaster.
San Francisco is the last city to authorize camps as shelters across the country shift to thin-bed counts so that homeless people, who are particularly susceptible to the virus due to poor health, have more room to stay apart. .
The city was also using the same strategy at Mission Dolores Park, a popular outdoor venue. The teams have painted huge white circles on the park's lawn. The idea is to help groups of park visitors who are not part of the same home stay six feet away.
After painting the circles, park visitors were seen adhering to the new guidelines.
Earlier this month, Mayor London Breed threatened to close Dolores Park after crowds gathered and were unable to maintain social detachment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"This is the last thing I want to do. We know that people need fresh air. They want to go out, but if we continue to see behavior become problematic in Dolores Park, it will no longer be available, "Breed said at a press conference on May 4.th.
Social distancing circles are also being used in a park in New York City.
© Copyright 2020 Up News Info Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. Associated Press contributed to this report.