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How New York City hotels are doing their part during COVID-19 outbreak

How New York City hotels are doing their part during COVID-19 outbreak

4/10/2020 3:45:00 PM

How New York City hotels are doing their part during COVID-19 outbreak

New York City hotels have begun opening their doors to health care professionals to cut out possible commute times as well as offer them a place to stay isolated from their families.

"The Hotel has made 225 rooms available, each with a seven-night minimum stay, allowing for the enforcement of guidelines from medical experts and local authorities regarding social distancing," Rudy Tauscher, general manager at Four Seasons Hotel New York, told

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Newsweek."The hotel will continue to scale up in number in order to operate safely and effectively, welcoming guests in small increments of 25 people per day, until reaching full capacity by the end of this week."The Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street was the first hotel to open its doors to health care workers during the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City.

Four Seasons Hotel New YorkTauscher brought on Dr. Robert Quigley, senior vice president and regional medical director for International SOS, Assistance & MedAire (Americas) to help ensure the hotel was abiding by CDC's policies and advisories to an urban hotel operation.

These measures include: social distancing that begins before anyone enters the hotel, a single point of entry into the hotel where both hotel employees and health care workers will be asked a series of questions and have their temperatures checked, and boxed meals and beverages made available to take up to rooms.

"In the event that someone does not pass screening protocol, they are safely escorted to a designated"red zone" area set up specifically for their comfort until they can be properly looked after and escorted from the building to another care facility," Tauscher said.

After each stay, rooms will remain dormant for three days and then cleaned and disinfected by a third party professional company before being cleaned by the hotel's housekeeping staff again.Since the Four Seasons announced their efforts in late March, the Room Mate Grace Hotel and the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn have also offered free housing for health care staff.

Only one passenger is allowed per elevator as part of new protocols put in place while the hotel opens 225 rooms to health care workers.Four Seasons Hotel New YorkPresident and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, Mitchell Katz, said April 1 at a press conference with New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio that in addition to hotels who have already opened their doors to health care workers, many hotels will also be converting into hospitals.

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The St. Regis Hotel, the Palace Hotel and Yotel have already begun offering their space to non-critical patients to make room in hospitals."We so far have secured 10,000 beds and 20 hotels and we believe that the capacity is there," Katz said last week.

He said that while hotels can not provide the kind of intensive care some patients will still need—and can be provided in conventional hospitals—these hotel hospitals can be used for patients who still need support but not at the level of the ICU.De Blasio says that while this crisis has hit the hotel industry hard, the city has been able to go in and lease the now empty hotels.

"Literally, we can go in and lease an entire hotel building, and we can do that dozens and dozens and dozens of times until we get to the point that we have all the beds we need," he said April 1.On April 6, De Blasio said there is one hotel that is already up and running for medical use in addition to the numerous hotels being used to house health care workers.

"We've got a lot of hotels up and running for people who need isolation. We're just going to keep growing that. It's going to be—when all is said and done, I think we're going to be in, you know, a hundred-plus hotels, in most cases, taking the whole hotel on a lease," he said."But as they start to become medical facilities, we'll give you updates. It's still going to be a few days before you see it in a large scale, in the hotels, the medical use, but it's coming very soon."

Read more: Newsweek »

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