More than 1,000 rooms at five hotels in Chicago will be rented and used to isolate people who have been exposed to the coronavirus but are not in need of hospital care.
This is how #ChicagoResponds. My administration is taking proactive steps to slow the spread of #COVID19. To ensure our hospital beds go to those who critically need them, we’re partnering with five hotels to house patients being treated for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/pnhp1j3BGT
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) March 24, 2020
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the use of the hotel rooms will increase capacity for those infected, ensuring Chicagoan’s ability to obtain care and refuge.
“By working in tandem with healthcare experts and local organizations to increase capacity for those affected, we have been able to develop innovative solutions to ensure every resident — regardless of status or where they live — are able to obtain the care and refuge needed to prevent the spread of this disease and keep every Chicagoan safe and secure,” Mayor Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot said it will cost the city $1 million to operate each hotel for 30 days.
Hotel workers who work during the quarantine operation will be trained and will not directly interact with guests, Lightfoot’s office said.
Additionally, YMCA centers in Chicago will be repurposed to serve as emergency shelters with the city providing 400 beds for people who are displaced or homeless.
“These measures are needed now because we do expect to continue to see a significant increase in lab-confirmed cases in Chicago for some time, both as the virus continues to spread and as more testing become available,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner, Chicago Public Health Department.