SILVER SPRING, MD — Montgomery County lawmakers have approved a $250,000 special appropriation that would help fund hotel rooms for nurses, first responders, and other frontline health care workers to use as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies.
"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," Councilmember Hans Riemer, the appropriation's lead sponsor, said. "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."
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According to officials, the Conference and Visitors' Bureau of Montgomery County, Maryland Inc. will work with county hotel and motel operators to provide lodging for health care workers at a greatly reduced cost.
"I just want to make this personal and thank Councilmember Riemer for his leadership on this," Councilmember Craig Rice said. "My mother-in-law works on the front lines at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. She's actually out there in one of the tents doing testings. She drives, after very long, exhausting shifts, all the way to Frederick. To have something like this means a lot."
As of Wednesday morning, Maryland has 1,985 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. Montgomery County, the state's most populous jurisdiction has been hit hardest. The total stands at 447, an increase of 59 from a day earlier.
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