Circle the City’s “Quarantine Hotel”

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Circle the City provides healthcare to 8,000 homeless people in Maricopa County. The organization has set up a “quarantine hotel” for COVID-19 patients and it has been filling up, and now is almost at capacity. Earlier, we spoke to Marty Hames, director of communications at Circle the City.

“Circle the City is the primary provider of medical care and healthcare services for people facing homelesness in Maricopa County,” Hames said. “Last year, we provided care for 8,000 people in Maricopa County.”

Despite the dramatic increase in need for healthcare for homeless people during the pandemic, Circle the City has been around since before the start. In fact, they were already well connected and established with many services and organizations across the valley before the pandemic began, giving them an edge when the crisis started.

Now, in addition to their normal services, they are hosting a “Quarantine Hotel” for homeless people with COVID-19.

“We tried tents,” she said. “That was difficult during Arizona summers.”

In May 2020, they leased a small hotel for quarantining patients. They provided daily, onsite medical care and mental health services, as well as three meals a day.

Unfortunately, space ran out as numbers started to increase, so Circle the City moved to a larger hotel, offering both outpatient and respite care.

Outpatient care is easier; patients can walk in, get care, and leave. Respite care, however, is for patients who are no longer sick enough to be in the hospital, but remain too sick to be out on the street, Hames said. They stay approximately between 1 week and a year, depending on their needs.

Fortunately, Circle the City has some good news. “We have really good news to report. Today is the first day we saw a significant drop in numbers,” Hames said.

Today, Hames said they have 30 patients. And the county has leased their “Quarantine Hotel” until June.

“We’ll continue to provide medical care there until June,” she said.

This includes daily temperature checks, symptom checks, rounds by medical staff, and when needed, transportation directly from the hotel to a hospital.

 

 

Marty Hames, Director of Communication at Circle the City

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