Durham County Commissioners approve $1.6M deal to house homeless at Marriott-RTP

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The Durham Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to approve a deal to provide housing for the homeless amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a special meeting, the county commissioners approved a $1.6 million deal with the Durham Marriott-RTP.

A total of 225 rooms are set aside at the Durham Marriott-RTP, located at 4700 Guardian Dr., from April 10 to July 9.

Chair Wendy Jacobs said shelters bring a high-risk for a repaid spread of the virus.

“We witnessed this just yesterday with the unfortunate announcement of 60 people testing positive at a senior facility in Orange County and 59 positive cases at Butner Correctional Facility,” she said.

The CDC had recommended finding individual rooms for people to cut down on the number of individuals at homeless shelters.

This is an urgent situation which required Durham City and County staff to be able to respond quickly to needs with daily changing conditions as we all work together to slow and contain the spread of COVID-19.

Wendy Jacobs

The board of commissioners is qualified for reimbursment for the deal due to North Carolina being under a state of emergency and President Donald Trump approving Gov. Roy Cooper’s request for a federal disaster declaration.

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 3: NCDHHS announces state’s first COVID-19 case
  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency
  • March 14: Cooper issues Executive Order 117 closing K-12 public schools until at least March 30 and banning gatherings of more than 100 people
  • March 16: NCDHHS recommends no mass gatherings for more than 50 people
  • March 17: Cooper issues Executive Order 118 limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits
  • March 23: Cooper issues Executive Order 120 which closes public K-12 schools through May 15 and orders businesses such as barbershops and salons to close.
  • March 25: North Carolina reports its first coronavirus-related deaths
  • March 29: Trump extends social distancing orders through the end of April
  • March 31: Cooper signs Executive Order 124 which prohibits utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during the pandemic.
  • April 7: Cooper will sign executive orders limiting customers in retailers and offers child care assistance to certain workers
  • April 14: Coronavirus-related deaths top 100 in North Carolina
  • April 24: Cooper extends stay-at-home order to May 8
  • May 5: Cooper announces Phase One of reopening will being May 8

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