Houston city council approved to provide 400 hotel rooms as quarantine center

 Thursday, April 9, 2020 


Houston city council approved a lease agreement to keep 400 rooms for quarantined first responders at a downtown hotel, the city’s latest move to create space for firefighters and police officers exposed to the deadly coronavirus or COVID 19 outbreak.



The city officials struck the roughly $48,000 deal with CS HPB LLC, the firm that owns the Cambria Hotel Houston Downtown Convention Center at 1314 Texas Ave. The hotel is providing single-occupancy rooms at a rate of $60 per night, plus taxes and a $40 food and beverage package that includes three meals.



Last week, city council approved deals to lease 186 quarantine rooms at two other hotels for first responders and city employees who cannot quarantine at home. Those who are awaiting test results or have been exposed to the virus are eligible.



The city council tweaked the deal for one of those hotels on Wednesday, adding $6,600 to bring the cost to about $116,000. The city is spending roughly $361,000 on the three hotel arrangements but intends to seek federal reimbursement for all three, according to city council agenda items.



The items were passed as part of the consent agenda Wednesday and did not yield any discussion or opposition. Through Tuesday, 165 Houston firefighters were in quarantine and 20 had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Fire Chief Sam Peña. There were 99 police officers in quarantine through Tuesday and 24 officers had tested positive, Police Chief Art Acevedo said.



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