New York City signed a $250 million dollar contract with to provide hotel rooms for COVID-19 patients in non-critical condition and healthcare workers on the front lines. is a Texas-based travel management advisory company. The company assists corporations by providing lodging for large groups of people on short notice.

The contract will relieve the healthcare system, which is strained with an influx of patients, according to Politico. Hotel rooms will be available for discharged patients, health care workers, and first responders on the front lines. The rooms will also be available to individuals that are showing symptoms who live in crowded quarters. 

According to Politico, hospitals can make referrals to the hotels for patients that the hospital is looking to discharge.

Hotel occupancy rate has dropped

Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, hotels have seen a dramatic drop in occupancy. For the week ending April 4, the occupancy rate was 21.6% according to an STR report. The result is tens of thousands of empty hotel rooms. Government officials hope to use this hotel occupancy to their advantage in order to ease the strain on hospitals.

“The rooms in the hotels – many people who are working 12, 16 hours and around many, many patients with COVID do not feel comfortable returning home to their spouses and their children,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press conference at the start of April. 

“So, we have provided hotel rooms so that they can go to a place where they feel they can get rest without putting their families at risk and come back the next day.”

NYC hotels are here for our health care heroes

Hotels across New York City are continuing to offer rooms at discounted rates for medical staff. Some are even offering rooms for free. One hotel in particular, the Marmara Park Avenue, has designated entire floors to doctors and nurses who are in need of a safe place to stay.