MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ramsey County officials announced that the county and its partners will be opening a respite facility for unsheltered single adults who have symptoms of COVID-19.

Beginning Friday, officials say they will open Mary Hall, which is located in downtown St. Paul at a former Dorothy Day Center.

“The location will provide 24/7 symptom monitoring, meals, security and transportation to and from the site for individuals experiencing homelessness,” Ramsey County officials said in a release.

Residents will be accepted on a referral basis from Ramsey County Safe Space, Catholic Charities High Ground and Union Gospel Mission shelter facilities. Referrals will be based on screening protocols from the CDC and HUD.

“Activation of these respite facilities is an important measure to slow the spread of COVID-19 among one of our most vulnerable populations,” said Ramsey County Board Chair Toni Carter. “Thank you to all of our partners – including contract resources, outreach teams, area hospitals and others who have stepped up alongside our staff to support those experiencing homelessness in our community at this very trying time.”

On March 17, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved up to $1.8 million to support operation of respite facilities during the pandemic.

Mary Hall will be able to accommodate 150 people.

As of Thursday, two people have died in Minnesota due to COVID-19, both Ramsey County residents in their 80s.

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