St. Louis County to Provide Hotel Rooms for Those Without Safe Isolation Space
Hotel Rooms Will Be Available in Duluth, Hibbing, Virginia, and Ely
DULUTH, Minn. – St. Louis County Public Health along with AEOA and partners such as CHUM is working to make sure those without a safe place to shelter if they were to test positive for COVID-19 can self-isolate.
Four hotels would be used at various locations throughout St. Louis County – one each in Duluth, Hibbing, Virginia, and Ely.
According to a document released by the City of Duluth, lodging spaces would be provided by ZMC Hotels.
The southern St. Louis County location would be the Downtown Duluth Inn.
The county has contracted for up to 90 rooms to be used if need be.
CHUM would provide staffing and meal assistance to those who check-in at the Duluth site.
The services would only be provided to those who have a positive lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, and have no place to safely isolate.
County officials tell FOX 21 Local News they are ready right now to begin this operation.
“It’s really out of an abundance of caution and just from a planning perspective, we need to be ready. It’s really hard to know how many beds we will need especially in northern parts of St. Louis County,” said Linnea Mirsch, Director of St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services.
The total cost for the hotel help is estimated at $450,000 – $500,000.
The county will be funding the operation in the immediate future, but they are actively seeking state and federal reimbursements which would likely be approved by FEMA.
“Early on in our planning, St. Louis County sent letters to all lodging establishments in the area and we were overwhelmed and encouraged with the response. Local partners, local businesses want to be part of this solution for our communities,” said Mirsch.
The county says this measure is in place right now for at least 45 days, but they will be able to extend it if residents continue to need further isolation in a safe space.