The Center will be used for people who can’t safely self-quarantine while waiting for test results or are confirmed with COVID-19 but don’t require hospitalization.
For example, those facing homelessness or essential workers who don’t want to risk exposing their family members to the virus.
South Bend Mayor James Mueller says creating an isolation facility has been a top priority.
“This was the only remaining viable option," he says. "If there were to be an outbreak within that community, it would spread very quickly and could increase the number of infected patients in our health care facilities.”
After the cost of rooms and services, Mueller says the total could be about half a million dollars. He says most of the cost could be reimbursed by state and federal aid.
Mueller says this is the only location the city is using as an isolation facility, but he says they will create more if needed.
“We believe that this should be good for the surge," he says. "We anticipate that the social distancing will maintain the surge level so that this is sufficient. But there may be a need for more rooms down the road but for right now, we think this should be sufficient for getting through this first surge.”
The center will be staffed with medical professionals, security, food delivery, and more. Mueller expects the motel to be ready as an isolation facility by the end of this week. It will serve as an isolation center for at least the next 60 days and possibly up to 90 days.
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