The New Haven Board of Education has requested that the city reconsiders the use of Hill Regional Career High School as a COVID-19 shelter.
Career High School was one of the sites Mayor Justin Elicker had identified that would be used as an emergency isolation center for the homeless population.
In the resolution, the school board raised concerns about the school's lack of negative airflow system, and said they were concerned the school is not secure enough to house a population that may be quarantined against their will. The board also pointed out that there are still teachers' and students' belongings in the building.
"We the Board of Education respectfully requests that Mayor Justin Elicker reconsiders the use of Career High School as a hospital/shelter for persons infected with COVID-19 and instead identify a more appropriate site for said use," the resolution reads.
The mayor has previously addressed concerns about the site, pointing out that it is the only identified regional emergency shelter in New Haven. He also assured residents that there will be security and nursing staff on-site, and that COVID-19 patients will not be allowed to leave the site.
Elicker released the following statement Monday in response to the resolution:
"Choosing this location was a difficult decision, and I know some residents have concerns. Career High School is our designated shelter facility from our State and local emergency operations plans since 2005. The location was chosen due to its: centralized location to the City, the proximity to both our hospitals, it’s location on a major road, and it allows us to recover costs through reimbursement. The City is working with its partners to develop a comprehensive staffing plan that would include nurses, medical reserve corps, volunteers, support staff, and police for security. We will utilize this location until the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Before bringing the school back online, the City will disinfect and decontaminate the facility with the Center for Disease Control approved electrostatic disinfecting equipment and product. I appreciate all the hard work our emergency responders and medical professionals are doing amidst this global health crisis, and genuinely appreciate our residents’ cooperation as we serve those who are struggling the most."