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.