Chicago reserving hotels for isolation or quarantine needs

  • A lone woman walks across the usually busy State Street near the Chicago Theatre, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Chicago. Gov. J.B. Pritzker's 'ústay at home order'Ě amid the pandemic, which took effect Saturday evening, requires Illinois residents to remain in their homes, except for essentials, joining similar efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Pritzker said there should be such an order in place nationwide.

    A lone woman walks across the usually busy State Street near the Chicago Theatre, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Chicago. Gov. J.B. Pritzker's 'ústay at home order'Ě amid the pandemic, which took effect Saturday evening, requires Illinois residents to remain in their homes, except for essentials, joining similar efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Pritzker said there should be such an order in place nationwide. Associated Press

  • A man rides a nearly empty Chicago Transit Authority "L" train at the Quincy Station, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Chicago on the first work day since Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave a shelter in place order last week.

    A man rides a nearly empty Chicago Transit Authority "L" train at the Quincy Station, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Chicago on the first work day since Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave a shelter in place order last week. Associated Press

  • Chicago's Lake Shore Drive is barren of its usual vehicle traffic, Monday, March 23, 2020. Gov. J.B. Pritzker's 'ústay at home order'Ě amid the pandemic, which took effect Saturday evening, requires Illinois residents to remain in their homes, except for essentials, joining similar efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Pritzker said there should be such an order in place nationwide.

    Chicago's Lake Shore Drive is barren of its usual vehicle traffic, Monday, March 23, 2020. Gov. J.B. Pritzker's 'ústay at home order'Ě amid the pandemic, which took effect Saturday evening, requires Illinois residents to remain in their homes, except for essentials, joining similar efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Pritzker said there should be such an order in place nationwide. Associated Press

  • A man walks across a nearly empty Adams Street near The Art Institute of Chicago, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Chicago, on the first work day since Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave a shelter in place order last week.

    A man walks across a nearly empty Adams Street near The Art Institute of Chicago, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Chicago, on the first work day since Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave a shelter in place order last week. Associated Press

  • A lone man stands in a heating shelter at the Chicago Transit Authority's Merchandise Mart "L" station, Monday, March 23, 2020, on the first work day since Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave a shelter in place order last week in Chicago.

    A lone man stands in a heating shelter at the Chicago Transit Authority's Merchandise Mart "L" station, Monday, March 23, 2020, on the first work day since Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave a shelter in place order last week in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Chicago's iconographic La Salle Street, the scene of many Hollywood movies, is barren of its usual dense vehicle traffic Monday, March 23, 2020. Illinois' public health officials announced 296 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, including an infant, bringing the total number statewide to 1,049. The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced three additional deaths, bringing the total number to nine. For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.

    Chicago's iconographic La Salle Street, the scene of many Hollywood movies, is barren of its usual dense vehicle traffic Monday, March 23, 2020. Illinois' public health officials announced 296 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, including an infant, bringing the total number statewide to 1,049. The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced three additional deaths, bringing the total number to nine. For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Associated Press

  • An elderly lady walks across the usually busy Columbus Drive that splits Chicago's Grant Park in half, on the first work day since Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave a shelter in place order last week, Monday, March 23, 2020, photo, in Chicago. Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois is not receiving enough medical supplies in its fight against the coronavirus. Pritzker tells CNN's 'úState of The Union'Ě that Illinois got a recent supply but it was a fraction of what was requested from the federal government. The comments prompted angry tweets from President Donald Trump who says governors should not be 'úblaming the federal government for their own shortcomings.'Ě

    An elderly lady walks across the usually busy Columbus Drive that splits Chicago's Grant Park in half, on the first work day since Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave a shelter in place order last week, Monday, March 23, 2020, photo, in Chicago. Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois is not receiving enough medical supplies in its fight against the coronavirus. Pritzker tells CNN's 'úState of The Union'Ě that Illinois got a recent supply but it was a fraction of what was requested from the federal government. The comments prompted angry tweets from President Donald Trump who says governors should not be 'úblaming the federal government for their own shortcomings.'Ě Associated Press

  • The newly renamed Hotel 166, located near the Northwestern University Hospital complex is seen Monday, March 23, 2020, in Chicago. The city of Chicago plans to reserve thousands of hotel rooms for people with mild cases of the coronavirus and others unable to return to their homes while awaiting test results, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday. Lightfoot said the city has partnered with five hotels, including the Hotel 166, and will have 1,000 rooms available by Tuesday. She estimates 2,000 rooms will be available by the end of the week.

    The newly renamed Hotel 166, located near the Northwestern University Hospital complex is seen Monday, March 23, 2020, in Chicago. The city of Chicago plans to reserve thousands of hotel rooms for people with mild cases of the coronavirus and others unable to return to their homes while awaiting test results, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday. Lightfoot said the city has partnered with five hotels, including the Hotel 166, and will have 1,000 rooms available by Tuesday. She estimates 2,000 rooms will be available by the end of the week. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/23/2020 4:21 PM

CHICAGO -- Chicago is reserving thousands of hotel rooms for people with mild cases of the coronavirus and others unable to return home while they await test results, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday.

The city has partnered with five hotels and will have 1,000 rooms available by Tuesday, Lightfoot said. She estimates 2,000 rooms will be available by the end of the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Chicago officials said the proactive measure should keep hospital beds available for people with severe symptoms.

Some people may not be able to quarantine at home due to family members' age or underlying health factors that put them at a higher risk of infection, said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the city's public health department.

'úThis move is an acknowledgement that people in our city have diverse and difficult living conditions,'Ě Arwady said. 'úSimply staying home is not a strong possible option for everyone.'Ě

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild cases recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe infections can take three to six weeks to get better.

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Officials said hotel workers won't interact with people isolated in their rooms, but will prepare food and be trained to perform other tasks. Chicago Department of Public Health employees will supervise each site.

Lightfoot said city officials were still determining how much it would cost but that they anticipate $1 million would be needed for a 30-day supply of rooms.

Illinois officials reported 1,285 cases as of Monday afternoon and 12 deaths, up from 1,049 cases and nine deaths on Sunday. Arwady said Sunday that 490 of those cases and four deaths were in Chicago.

Karen Kent, the CEO of the Unite Here Local 1 union representing thousands of hospitality workers, said members 'úwant to help heal the city and heal the world.'Ě

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

'úAt a time when people feel powerless, it is great to feel there is something to do and something important we can contribute,'Ě she said.

Lightfoot also announced Monday that the YMCA of Metro Chicago opened several of its facilities to act as shelters for the homeless. More space was necessary because beds at existing shelters must be spaced six feet apart, she said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he's working with the state's congressional delegation to secure stimulus aid to ensure federally required community health centers stay open. The 18 Democrats and Republicans wrote to Pritzker that without financial assistance, 51 health centers could go broke within three months. The delegates said the centers that largely serve low-income populations have lost 70% of their income because routine visits have been canceled to curb the spread of the virus.

Jordan Powell, president and CEO of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association, said a federal stimulus package signed March 6 provided $100 million for the centers, but that has yet to be distributed. The centers are seeking more than $3 billion in another package being debated on Capitol Hill.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office said Monday afternoon that two inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 and were being held in isolation at the jail's hospital. Dart said detainees from the same units were being monitored. On Sunday, Dart's office said a correctional officer was in isolation at home after testing positive for COVID-19. Other staff were advised to self-quarantine for two weeks. None has shown any symptoms.

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli argued a motion Monday seeking the release of inmates with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, inmates locked up for nonviolent offenses and those who remained in jail because they cannot afford to post bond.

Chief Criminal Court Judge LeRoy K. Martin Jr. said a team of judges would review thousands of cases this week, Campanelli said.

Last week, the Cook County Circuit Court ordered the jail to release about 100 detainees who were determined at high risk of contracting the virus. Dart had already halted all jail visits and the county's chief judge suspended most criminal and civil cases for 30 days.

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Associated Press writer John O'Connor contributed

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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