Quinci LeGardye | California Black Media
California has begun offering no-cost and low-cost hotel rooms to doctors, nurses and other critical frontline healthcare workers who test positive for or have come into contact with COVID-19. Gov. Newsom announced the new program April 9, and the reservation portal opened through the CalTravelStore website April 10.
The program is designed to help infected healthcare workers avoid spreading the virus by staying in hotel rooms in proximity to medical facilities after leaving their shifts.
“California is fighting to protect those who are protecting us,” said Governor Newsom during the announcement. “As we ramp up the workforce to meet the demand, we are also stepping up to help keep our [health care] workers’ families safe by providing hotels as temporary housing options.”
150 hotels have already opted in to provide discounted rates. The Department of General Services is currently prioritizing hotels in counties with large populations or high amounts of positive test results.
While taking precautions to protect California’s health care workers, the state is also continuing to widen the ranks. 86,516 health care professionals have signed up for the California Health Corps so far, which recruits public health professionals, medical retirees and students, and members of medical disaster response teams to help address the COVID-19 surge in hospitals.
The governor’s office has also partnered with United Airlines to provide free flights for volunteer health care professionals to bring them to areas where they are most needed during the pandemic.