Butler County Resolutions jail could shelter quarantined homeless

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The coronavirus has created a near impossible scenario for food banks; unprecedented demand, dwindling supply, and a shortage of volunteer workers. Veuer’s Justin Kircher has the story.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones has offered the use of his Resolutions jail for homeless who have contracted the coronavirus and must be quarantined.

“I want to extend my appreciation to the Butler County judges and law enforcement officers that have reduced our jail population to make this possible,” Jones said in a release late Friday afternoon.

The number of confirmed cases Friday afternoon was 157 and two probable infections. There have still only been three deaths.

Commissioner Don Dixon said the commissioners have no problem with Butler County Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer using the facility he described as a big “dormitory.”

“She hasn’t made up her mind whether she is going to use it or not,” Dixon said. “If that would work out and meet her needs, it’s sitting there it’s all clean, it’s virtually no cost comparatively speaking if you have to go out and rent someplace.”

Bailer could not be reached for comment.

RELATED: Coronavirus: What happens to Butler County people under quarantine?

She was before the commissioners Monday seeking funding for this purpose. She said she might need as much as $181,000 to rent the Oxford Comfort Inn.

“This is for people that are walking and talking, able to take care of themselves but who are experiencing symptoms or they may be waiting to see if they experience symptoms,” Bailer said. “This is not an infirmary, this is not a step-down hospital in any way.”

She said she had studied many options for these people and identified the hotel that could house these people on a temporary basis, but the price has gone up since she first introduced the idea.

“It was originally 20 rooms for 28 days, and now they have requested that we reserve the entire hotel, they’re not comfortable with just a portion of it,” she said Monday, adding a phone call to the hotel’s corporate office changed the game plan. “They were agreeing to close the rest of the hotel, but now they would like us to pay for the rest of the hotel. That’s a pretty significant change so we will continue to look at our options.”

The initial estimate from the Oxford Comfort Inn was $42,000, according to records obtained by the Journal-News. The lodging cost was $73,000 for 65 rooms for 28 days. The rest of the cost, $108,000 was for the county to provide staffing, security, cleaning, food and other incidentals.

Dixon said there are about 20 cots inside the Resolutions building, he expects there would be costs for staff, laundry, possible food.

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