HPD sets up tents at Keehi Lagoon to serve homeless during coronavirus pandemic

Updated: Apr. 8, 2020 at 5:10 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tents have been set up at a Honolulu city park to help the homeless community practice social distancing and to give them a safe place to quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Honolulu Police Department launched the Provisional Outdoor Screening and Triage — or POST — facility on Tuesday.

The first POST site — a small, makeshift village — is set up at Keehi Lagoon and can accommodate up to 50 people.

Homeless individuals without COVID-19 symptoms will be required to self-quarantine at the POST site for 15 days, according to the city. They will receive medical screenings, hygiene services, security and meals.

“It’s for people that can care for themselves and are willing to be compliant in regards to the 15 day self quarantine," said Capt. Mike Lambert. “It’s no bigger expectation than we have for our residents now.”

If an individual comes down with symptoms during their stay, HPD says the person will be transferred either to the Kaaahi Street facility in Iwilei, or a medical facility.

If the person does not develop symptoms, officials say those individuals will go to another site so they can connect with service providers and get shelter.

The tent triage site is one way the city says it is trying to provide more immediate shelter options while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Funds for the island-wide program will come from a $6 million Ohana Zone contract, according to the Mayor’s office.

The police department says it plans to set up two more POST sites this week.

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