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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Kokomo prepares an isolation center to quarantine homeless people infected by COVID-19

The vacant medical building near downtown will be home to homeless people sickened or possibly infected by the highly contagious and deadly virus.

KOKOMO, Ind. (WTHR) — In Kokomo an isolation center is being prepared in case it is needed to care for dozens of homeless individuals and families affected by the coronavirus.

Public health officials are trying to help them and stop the virus from spreading through shelters and other parts of community.

The vacant medical building near downtown will be home to homeless people sickened or possibly infected by the highly contagious and deadly virus.

“They are going to get a safe environment to recover from COVID-19,” said Paul Wyman, Howard County Commissioner.

He showed 13News around the isolation center. Beds, chairs, other furniture and appliances began arriving late Friday afternoon.

(Dennine Smith)

Residents will be quarantined with clean clothes, three meals a day, private rooms and medical services.

“If they come here to our isolation center, we prevent a spread in our community. That is the ultimate goal, for us to get to the other side of the crisis," Wyman said.

The center is intended to keep sick or recovering individuals out of crowded shelters and other places where the virus spreads easily and quickly.

“They could be staying in the woods, around town or sofa floating, staying with friends,” Dennine Smith said, adding that is dangerous. She is administrating the isolation center and works as the executive director of Coordinated Assistance Ministries. It provides a variety of services to the homeless community in Kokomo.

“If we do not provide a place like this it really does put many more people at risk,” Wyman said.

The center is big enough to care for 50 men, women, children and if necessary entire families.

It is available to homeless people from Howard, Tipton, Miami, Cass and Wabash counties.

Organizers hope the COVID-19 crisis will pass without the center ever having to be used.