Hospital staff being offered hotel accommodation so they don't have to go home
KITCHENER -- Grand River Hospital is now renting hotel rooms for staff in an effort to accommodate workers who don't feel comfortable going home to their families.
Hospital officials say the hotel spaces are not for workers in self-isolation or for those who have tested positive for COVID-19.
"They might have some family members at home who are immune-compromised, which could create some anxiety in the home that we didn’t want to have," explains GRH Humane Resources Vice President Jennifer O'Brien.
The hospital is renting a total of 75 rooms at the Inn of Waterloo and at the DoubleTree in Kitchener.
O'Brien said Thursday that 23 staff would be staying there that night. The hospital has had about 40 requests to stay in hotel rooms so far.
"There is no risk of these individuals staying at the hotel," O'Brien says.
"They have their regular cleaning routine that they would have in any other room."
Any employee can access the accommodation.
As the province looks to improve capacity in hospitals, hotels are also being considered as a future location for patients.
"Some hospitals have chosen to increase capacity by renting hotel space. Grand River Hospital is one that is proposing to do that," Health Minister Christine Elliott said at a press conference on Thursday.
O'Brien says that, with the current number of patients, it's not a requirement, but an option the hospital is pursuing as an alternative if needed.