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Press Releases - County Council

Council approves funding to provide hotel rooms to nurses, critical workers

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Proposal by Councilmember Riemer seeks to help
critical hospital employees get more rest and recovery time

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 31, 2020--The Montgomery County Council today unanimously approved a $250,000 special appropriation to the County’s fiscal year 2020 operating budget to provide lodging at a greatly reduced cost for critical personnel on the front lines of efforts to contain and mitigate the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Councilmember Hans Riemer, who chairs the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, spearheaded the Council effort to provide this funding.

“The goal of this funding is to ensure that nurses, technicians and other critical hospital employees can get more rest and recovery time during the expected surge of COVID-19 cases,” said Councilmember Riemer. “Many hospital employees commute over long distances, but soon they may be needed around the clock for days and weeks at a time. Anything we can do to provide hotel stays near our hospitals will ensure more effective healthcare delivery during the crisis. That is job number one.”

These critical personnel include medical professionals, first responders and other staff working on the front line to fight the spread of this infectious disease. The Conference and Visitors’ Bureau of Montgomery County, Maryland Inc. will work with County hotel and motel operators who are willing to provide lodging to these critical personnel at a greatly reduced cost.

As of 10 a.m. this morning, there were 1,660 confirmed cases in Maryland, including 388 in Montgomery County. The expectation is that the number of cases will grow rapidly. To slow the spread of the disease, Governor Hogan declared a state of emergency and has issued several executive orders with actions that include a stay-at-home directive, closing schools and non-essential business and limiting the number of people that can gather.

The Council staff report for this special appropriation can be viewed here.

For more information about the County’s efforts to protect public health and safety during this global pandemic, visit the Department of Health and Human Services’ coronavirus information website.

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Release ID: 20-123
Media Contact: Ken Silverman 240-777-7930