A federal judge is ordering officials in Los Angeles and Los Angeles County to find alternative shelter for thousands of homeless people living near freeways amid the coronavirus outbreak.
U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter issued a preliminary injunction on Friday that directs the city and county to relocate between 6,000 and 7,000 homeless people living near freeway overpasses, underpasses and ramps, The Los Angeles Times reported. Officials will be required to provide space in shelters or alternative housing.
In his ruling, Carter cited the outbreak of the novel coronavirus as a reason for urgency, adding that officials should come up with a plan for "humane" housing for homeless people by May 22.
"Without adequate access to shelter, hygiene products, and sanitation facilities, individuals experiencing homelessness face a greater risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, and an outbreak in the homeless community would threaten the general public as well," Carter wrote.