Hillsborough County and BayCare team up to retrofit hotel into hospital for recovering COVID-19 patients

Posted at 6:01 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 18:12:06-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- Getting released from the hospital, especially after battling COVID-19, is a relief but it also poses a potential risk.

The recovery time takes a long period of time, much longer than some other illnesses for people being hospitalized. They also remain infectious for weeks,” said Dr. Jackie Cawley, the Chief Medical Officer for Ambulatory Care and Clinical Integration at BayCare Health System.

if they have family members at home, there’s a good potential that person could spread it to their loved ones.

It’s why Hillsborough County teamed up with BayCare to house recovering COVID-19 patients in a hotel.

“It’s to provide that safe environment much like a home environment would be, but making sure they have the medical care wrapped around them,” said Dr. Cawley.

County officials have turned the Quality Inn off Fowler Avenue into its headquarters and quarantine spot. Right next door is the hotel county officials retrofitted as a hospital.

“They’ve upgraded the electrical system for the installation of an automatic transfer for a switch, we will have a generator,” said Ray Hansen, the Hillsborough County Deputy Fire Marshal. “Because obviously, COVID is going to be lasting through the hurricane season and we want to be prepared in case we have a long-term power outage.”

Each patient that qualifies will be transferred to the hotel once they are discharged from the hospital. They will stay for a few days in a room with access to around the clock medical care which includes meals, vital checks, oxygen and medication.

“This is really allowing us to meet community needs by expanding healthcare resources above and beyond what we have in our hospitals right now,” Dr. Crawley said.

The county will transform it back to a hotel once the need is no longer there.