Chicago uses hotels for quarantine to ease hospital demand

Latest news

Hours before his first shift cooking for people with mild cases of COVID-19 who are being quarantined in a downtown Chicago hotel, Jose Gonzalez made a plan to protect his family from the coronavirus.

Chicago’s plan to reserve at least 1,000 hotel rooms through partnerships with five hotels is the first such sweeping strategy unveiled in the U.S. aimed at relieving the pressure on hospitals that are the only option for the seriously sick.

But it will assuredly not be the last.

Government officials nationwide are searching for facilities that could act as a relief valve for hospitals amid building concern that demand will exceed available space and equipment for coronavirus patients with severe symptoms.

Gonzalez, 27, said he has been reassured that only city employees will interact with patients. But he’s planning to frequently wash his hands, remove his shoes outside his house and stash his uniform in a trash bag until it can be washed to limit his chances of becoming ill or spreading the virus to his five-year-old daughter and fiance.

“My biggest concern is just making sure I don’t catch the virus,” he said.

Samir Mayekar, deputy mayor for neighborhood and economic development in Chicago, said the city’s public health team wanted a plan that teamed with hotel owners and their staff, rather than a takeover run entirely by public employees as in cities in Asia and Europe.

“Quarantine and isolation units are going to be used in every city across the country eventually, in their own way, shape and form,” Mayekar said. “Every hour, every day counts.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he’s also considering hotels and dormitories for treatment sites as work continues to turn the city’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center into a temporary field hospital. In Michigan, a suburban Detroit university offered up its basketball gym for a makeshift hospital and parking lots for drive-thru testing sites.

The first patients moved into Hotel 166 on the city’s North Side on Tuesday, but the city has not released numbers, nor has it named the other hotels that have agreed to join the effort.

The reserved hotel rooms are intended for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have mild symptoms that don’t require a hospital stay. They also could be used by people awaiting test results are but unable to stay home due to the risk of spreading the virus to family members, particularly those who are vulnerable to more severe symptoms due to their age or health issues.

“We need to build this excess network of other spaces so we can take pressure off of hospitals and reserve those acute care beds for those that are most in need of intensive medical treatment,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia …read more

Source:: Headlines News4jax

      

(Visited 4 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *