WASHINGTON — VERIFY is all about fact-checking the things you see on social media and debunking misinformation. We’re seeing a lot of chatter about monkeypox patients being put up in hotels in D.C. while they isolate.
Is that true?
Is DC Health housing monkeypox patients in hotel rooms?
- DC Department of Human Services statement
WHAT WE FOUND:
Our VERIFY researchers reached out to the D.C. government.
A spokesperson for the DC Department of Human Services said the Bowser Administration has been focused on stopping the spread of COVID and monkeypox among people experiencing homelessness.
"One key component of these efforts is the use of hotels that enable isolation and quarantine (ISAQ) for persons living in a congregate setting that have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus or monkeypox virus, or who are exhibiting symptoms of the monkeypox virus," a spokesperson for DC DHS said.
Since August 2, they’ve housed 10 people who either had monkeypox or were suspected of having it.
So we can VERIFY, yes, hotels are being used for isolation. Although D.C. DHS didn't tell us which hotels for privacy reasons.
Monkeypox spreads through direct—often, skin-to-skin—contact, with someone who has it, according to the CDC. That means direct contact with rashes, scabs or bodily fluids. It’s also possible to spread through respiratory secretions or by touching things like clothing, bedding or towels.
D.C. DHS says rooms used for monkeypox patients are cleaned weekly and immediately after the person leaves. Monkeypox patients and COVID patients are even kept on different floors and their linens are cleaned separately.
"Waste from each ISAQ resident's rooms are disposed according to guidance from U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Hazardous Materials Regulations," DC Health said in a statement. "Routinely touched surfaces at the hotel, such as counters and elevator buttons are cleaned with a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectant."