A hotel to provide coronavirus quarantine space for residents is on the agenda for Dallas County Commissioners Tuesday.
The agenda calls for spending $1.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief money on banks of 10 rooms at a time through December at the Best Western Plus Dallas on Composite Drive near Walnut Hill Lane and Interstate I-35E.
Another $850,000 would pay for staff to serve people quarantined at the hotel.
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Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang said it is a new step to combat the disease.
“It’s many strategies all together that we’re trying, to address this and reduce the spread of what it is doing in our community,” Huang said.
Hotels have been provided before in Dallas County for first responders and homeless people. This is the first government provision to assist average residents.
“Maybe their home situation, they don’t have a place where someone could stay separated from the rest of the family, or they might have a family member who is high-risk, on chemotherapy,” Huang said.
Coronavirus has been hard on big families in Dallas County with members who live in the same house.
Dr. Sharon Davis is the medical director with Los Barrios Unidos Clinic, which serves many large families in West Dallas and Oak Cliff, neighborhoods where the coronavirus case count is high.
“These families have really been rocked with this illness. It’s been spreading through whole families, whole households,” she said.
The hotel would provide an option to get people who test positive out of those houses before they spread the disease.
Monday's report of 382 new coronavirus cases was the lowest in weeks, but Huang asked residents to continue measures that seem to be helping, including wearing masks.
"There is some encouraging early signs, but we absolutely need to keep up, at least as vigilant or even more so to try to turn this around," he said.
Dallas County Commissioners will also consider extending the disaster declaration Tuesday that has been used to authorize much of the coronavirus response.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.