Estimated Emergency and Observational/Quarantine Capacity Need for the US Homeless Population Related to COVID-19 Exposure by County; Projected Hospitalizations, Intensive Care Units and Mortality

The rapid progression of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has raised concerns about the potential impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the homeless population. According to official reports, 575,000 people in the United States meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of homelessness – living in a homeless shelter or a place not fit for human habitation.1 On any given night New York City and Los Angeles County, two areas heavily impacted by COVID-19, are estimated to have 70,000 and 58,000 homeless individuals, respectively. In recent days, both the State of California and the City of Los Angeles have made substantial funding allocations to support rapid emergency shelter for unsheltered individuals, outreach for early detection, and quarantine space.