Hospital staff are offered hotel accommodation so they don’t have to go home
KITCHENER – Grand River Hospital now rents hotel rooms for staff to accommodate workers who do not feel comfortable returning home to their families.
Hospital officials say the hotel spaces are not intended for workers in self-isolation or those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
“They may have family members at home who are immunocompromised, which could create some anxiety at home that we didn’t want to have,” says Jennifer O’Brien, HRM vice president of human resources.
The hospital rents a total of 75 rooms at the Inn of Waterloo and DoubleTree in Kitchener.
O’Brien said Thursday 23 staff would stay there that night. The hospital has received around 40 requests to stay in hotel rooms so far.
“There is no risk that these people will stay at the hotel,” said O’Brien.
“They have their usual cleaning routine that they would have in any other room.”
Any employee can access housing.
As the province seeks to improve hospital capacity, hotels are also seen as a future location for patients.
“Some hospitals have chosen to increase their capacity by leasing hotel space. The Grand River Hospital is the one proposing to do so,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said at a press conference on Thursday. .
O’Brien says that with the current number of patients, this is not a requirement, but an option the hospital is pursuing as an alternative if needed.