Two adults were arrested last Saturday for operating a meth lab in a San Francisco hotel being used as “alternative housing” during the COVID pandemic.

According to the San Francisco government, there are currently about 1,895 hotel rooms in the city supposedly being used for “Individuals who are directly affected by the coronavirus, or who are at high risk of adverse impacts if they contract the virus.” (including meth lab technicians, apparently).

Officers responded to a call on Saturday afternoon about a strong chemical odor coming from a hotel room at the Civic Center Motor Inn.

A hazmat team was called in to determine the safety of the site.

“I was just like shocked,” said one hotel “guest” named Samantha who says a police officer knocked on her door. “He’s like, there’s a meth lab right above your room so we need you to evacuate ‘cause it could explode at any time.”

Officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco Police Department spokesman, said “Officers conducted an investigation and discovered chemicals in the room known to make narcotics. We believe this was isolated only to one guest room and two adults were taken into custody.”

The Civic Center Motor Inn is one many businesses contracting with San Francisco’s Shelter in Place program, and is paid to provide accommodation for people who need to be quarantined, are at risk for COVID-19, or are “experiencing homelessness.”

In addition to hotel rooms, the City has also acquired over 100 RV units for “alternative housing.”

In a statement, San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said deputies had been doing regular checks of all sites since March, but had to end patrols on July first.

“The Sheriff’s Office provided patrol and response to calls for service at established (Shelter In Place) sites from March through June as part of our Safer Streets Program during the COVID shelter in place.

Deputies responded to domestic disputes, overdoses, and persons in crisis and checked in on all sites every few hours. Patrols ended in July as we prepared for the lifting of health restrictions and the opening of the courts and regular services”

However, as San Francisco is scaling back reopening, Sheriff Miyamoto says he hopes to have those deputies resume patrols under the Safe Streets program.

In late July, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced the city would continue to pause its reopening process indefinitely because of a surge in coronavirus cases.

In an interview on CNN that week, Breed said “I want to be clear, we are living in Covid for the next, you know, 12 to 18 months and we are really all in this together… We can’t have governors, mayors, even our President, making different decisions because we are all impacted by bad choices.”

Which would supposedly include paying for hotel rooms where a meth lab could be set up. Or not.

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