Published on : Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the partnership with local hotel operators will take the burden off hospital resources during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lightfoot said that 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. The people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 — or are waiting on test results — can be transferred to downtown hotels.
Lightfoot’s office said it will secure rates of about $175 per night. Lightfoot said it will cost the city $1 million to operate each hotel for 30 days.
The hotel workers who work during the quarantine operation will be trained and will not directly interact with guests, Lightfoot’s office said.
The department of Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara said that these companies and workers stepping up at this time should be held in the highest regard.
To ease the burden, YMCA centers will be repurposed to serve as emergency shelters with the city providing 400 beds for people who are displaced or homeless.
The city said it is increasing visits to encampments to check for hygiene kits and hand-washing stations.