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Homeless encampment controversy

A motion to eliminate evictions of homeless encampments of under ten people to help slow the spread of COVID-19 was passed Tuesday night.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 11:41 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- Vice Mayor Alex Brown motioned to eliminate evictions of homeless encampments of under ten people to help slow the spread of COVID-19 during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

That motion passed in a 4-3 vote.

“It brings us in compliance with the CDC guidelines on homeless encampments,” said Councilman Scott Huber. “If you force these people out of the spot that they are currently in they are going to go to other neighborhoods and if they are carrying the virus they will spread the virus as they go. That’s the concern and that’s why we did what we did last night.”

However, Councilman Sean Morgan believe it is unfair to businesses and the people of Chico

“We’re telling business owners, go home and shut your door, even if you're practicing in safe social distancing, and all the safe things, but on the other side we're telling the homeless encampments, ‘go ahead and do whatever you want,’ and that is a really bad message to send, especially when there are people who are losing their livelihoods,” said Morgan.

Morgan adds the city should have trusted its officers to make those decisions.

“When news gets out that, ‘hey, you can go to Chico and be in an encampment and as long as it's not more than 10 people, the police can't do anything about it, don't worry about the social distancing, as long as it's in a homeless encampment and it’s in our parks and waterways, hey we're okay,” said Morgan.

While many locals are afraid of unhealthy encampments in their area, Huber believes that the city will follow CDC guidelines and ensures proper facilities and materials for the homeless.

“We have done some of those things already,” said Huber. “We have provided additional restrooms, we’ve provided even more handwashing stations throughout the community for exactly these reasons.”

Officials will only be allowed to offer information and outreach to those encampments.

City leaders say if this change is not working out, they can call for an emergency meeting to make adjustments ahead of the next city council meeting which is a month out.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 775037

Reported Deaths: 14804
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2572716324
Riverside563741143
San Bernardino51467839
Orange513991115
San Diego43619754
Kern31076340
Fresno27381348
Sacramento20961371
Alameda20162365
Santa Clara19891295
San Joaquin19701407
Stanislaus16150325
Contra Costa15544197
Tulare15486255
Ventura12073141
Imperial11457310
San Francisco1056991
San Mateo9332142
Monterey919765
Santa Barbara8785109
Merced8692131
Kings715877
Sonoma6827114
Marin6505111
Solano605455
Madera427058
Placer338541
San Luis Obispo331627
Yolo272153
Butte270433
Santa Cruz21088
Sutter162110
Napa158713
San Benito126010
Yuba11087
El Dorado10544
Mendocino81718
Lassen7300
Shasta66114
Glenn5473
Colusa4996
Nevada4975
Tehama4853
Humboldt4826
Lake43310
Calaveras30513
Amador28616
Tuolumne2163
Inyo18714
Mono1632
Siskiyou1590
Del Norte1351
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc230
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Much better air quality, elevated fire danger, cooler temperatures, and the potential for showers are all ahead for your Friday. We'll be dry and warmer for your last weekend of the summer season.
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