Governor Cooper is asking the state’s hotels and colleges to provide housing alternatives for residents in unstable situations and those most at-risk for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, Cooper said his office has received approval from FEMA to partner with hotels, motels, trailers, dormitories, and other facilities to shelter those who may need quarantine if they have a mild case of the virus or have been exposed to someone who has contracted COVID-19.

“These types of alternatives will help people who have no other safe options to self-isolate or social distance while we slow the spread of this virus,” Cooper said in a statement.

Cooper said the state will work with local partners to provide more than 16,500 units of individual housing to people who test positive for COVID-19 and need to be isolated but do not require hospitalization, including patients who have been discharged from the hospital. People exposed to COVID-19 and identified by a health care professional as needing quarantine will also be eligible for alternative housing. 

Cooper added that people who need social distancing as a precautionary measure—particularly high-risk groups such as people over 65 with underlying health conditions—but whose living situation makes that difficult are eligible for alternative housing, too. 

FEMA will pay 75 percent of the sheltering program’s costs, Cooper said, with the state picking up the rest. In addition to boarding, the program will pay for utilities, waste disposal, and other services, including laundry, food, cleaning, and security.

Potential partners such as hotels, motels, colleges, universities, and other large-scale facilities interested in participating in the program should email for more information.

Contact staff writer Thomasi McDonald at 

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