Michigan Coronavirus: Hospitality for Heroes offers free lodging to Marquette County healthcare workers


MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – When working on the frontlines as a medical professional during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a risk of spreading exposure to others outside of work once their shift is over.

A collaboration of entities is coming together to help reduce that possible exposure in one way.

“Hospitality for Heroes was born from discussions between the [Marquette County] Health Department, Marquette County and Travel Marquette in trying to find some emergency lodging for those healthcare workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or be working with patients at that level or in a facility where COVID is known to be in that facility,” said Susan Estler, Executive Director, Travel Marquette.

The following eight hotels in Marquette County have committed to this effort:

Travel Marquette is accepting applications from healthcare workers where they will be able to stay at one of these sites for up to five days free of charge.

“We have an online survey and they would speak with the health department,” said Estler. “I would send a link to them to go out and fill the information. It’s very simple just outlining who they are and then checking a box saying yes they have they have been working with COVID patients.”

Funds to make this effort possible are coming from the West End Health Foundation, Superior Health Foundation and the Community Foundation of Marquette County which says this is a grant of charitable intent.

“It’s nice of Travel Marquette and the hotels stepping up to meet this need,” said Gail Anthony, CEO, Community Foundation of Marquette County. “These are our frontline people and it’s very important that they don’t carry this virus home to their families.”

The grant from the Community Foundation of Marquette is coming from their COVID-19 Community Response Fund which is collaborated effort with United Way of Marquette County.

Travel Marquette says the program is a win-win for everyone by also helping the economy of local hotels.

“The hotels have very low occupancy and it’s a difficult time for the hoteliers as well,” said Estler. “The hotels have guests staying at the hotel and the healthcare workers don’t have to make arrangements and pay out of pocket.”

For more information on the effort and hotels involved, click here. To apply for the program, click here.

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