People experiencing homelessness don’t have access to the recommended precautions to stave off the coronavirus. The state of play: They often don’t have access to places to wash their hands, many sleep outside in crowded encampments, and social distancing is next to impossible in crowded shelters. The population living outside tends to be older and to have pre-existing health conditions. If they do get sick, they’re more likely to end up in intensive care, said Samantha Batko, a research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Why it matters: “People sleeping outside in crowded and unclean situations could rapidly expand the spread of the disease,” Batko said. “We have to rapidly expand shelter capacity.” What’s happening: Half of the country’s unsheltered homeless population lives in California, which is taking aggressive steps. Gov. Gavin Newsom is securing empty hotel and motel rooms for shelter.