Quebec hotels tapped to take on patients, as health system braces for overload
Up to 4,000 beds could be earmarked for hospital patients during COVID-19 pandemic
Quebec public health is asking hotels across the province to clear beds in anticipation of an overload of the health care system.
"We're talking about 3,000 to 4,000 beds across the province of Quebec," said Xavier Gret, president and CEO of the Association Hôtellerie Québec (AHQ).
The hotels will not be accommodating COVID-19 cases.
Rather, it would be for non-infected semi-autonomous patients, in order to make space in hospitals for people who need to be treated for COVID-19.
The government has several criteria for the hotels, namely that they have rooms without carpeting, that catering is available, and they are located near a hospital.
"We're waiting for more information about exactly what they need," Gret said.
Gret said the response from his members was overwhelmingly positive. All those who have been contacted have offered to help, with some of them having already made preparations.
Jean-François Caron, the president of Imperia Hotel and Suites with three hotels in the Laurentians and Lanaudière region, said they have 250 rooms ready to accommodate people.
"We really believe that we can take the wheel to get through this emergency," he said.
It will be up to the Quebec government to decide which establishments will participate in the effort. The hotels will have to negotiate contracts with the government regarding the rates for each room.
With files from Radio-Canada