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Local hotel, food bank support families and first responders affected by pandemic

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Alondra Campos
Staff Writer

The Sheraton Suites Fairplex hotel in Pomona opened its doors to provide rooms for COVID-19 patients in the nearby areas who need isolation.

From March 23 to May 31, and possibly extending into June, the Sheraton Fairplex has provided 244 rooms to patients who are waiting for their COVID-19 test results or who have experienced mild symptoms of the virus and require isolation. 

This approach to decrease the spread of the virus came from a direct partnership between the privately owned hotel and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

As of Thursday, there were more than 17,500 cases of  COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, with nearly 800 deaths from the disease.

“Our overwhelmed health care system will not be able to admit every person with mild symptoms of COVID-19,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a recent statement. “As we contain the spread of the virus, we need quarantine sites where people can receive care and heal.”

All 244 rooms in the Sheraton are provided on a first-come, first-served basis with only one person per room allowed.

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19, are awaiting their test results or who show symptoms of the virus such as coughing, fever, difficulty breathing are permitted to stay in the hotel, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Health. 

A health care provider, law enforcement or service agency must first notify the Health Department when they encounter an individual who is showing serious symptoms. Health Department professionals will then confirm which of the patients qualify for medical sheltering and then coordinate where they will be placed. 

Site availability and other contributing factors will be looked at by the Health Department before assigning rooms.

In addition, Fairplex is partnering with Sowing Seeds For Life, a La Verne-based non profit that feeds the hungry, to provide a drive-up food pantry access for communities in need.

“In light of social distancing, we will have pre-packaged boxes that will include fresh produce, dairy, meat, and hygiene products,” said Fran Robertson, executive director of Sowing Seeds for Life.

“We are giving out one box per family,” Robertson said. “Each box contains about 50 to 60 pounds of dairy, meat, and fresh produce in order to best supply our community.”

Sowing Seeds For Life food pantry will be available every first and third Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gate 17 at Fairplex. The pantry to Los Angeles County residents.

Fairplex is also providing reduced cost child care to first responders at their Child Development Center located on the Fairplex grounds. Applications are available by phone or through email and must be submitted via email. Call (909) 623-3899 or email cdc@fairplex.com to request an application.

Alondra Campos can be reached at alondra.campos@laverne.edu.

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