ST. PAUL -- Minnesota is requesting funding from FEMA to help people who cannot or should not be in quarantine or isolation with other members of their household.

Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly says they sent in an application on Wednesday requesting funding to cover the cost of alternative sheltering sites for people such as healthcare workers or those who are homeless.

What if the person is experiencing homelessness? They don't have a home to go to. What if the person can't return to their usual residence because of the risk of exposing other household members to the virus. Think of a couple who share a studio apartment. In these and a lot of other scenarios, we need to provide people a safe place to quarantine so we don't make the problem worse.

Kelly says some non-congregate sheltering sites would include hotel and dorm rooms. He says FEMA typically provides funding for congregate shelters during natural disasters, but isolating people in this way would help limit the community spread of COVID-19.

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