Hundreds of hotel, dorm rooms now used to house first responders, shelter staff, veterans in Boston

BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Thursday that hundreds of beds at various locations around the city will now be used to house first responders, shelter staff, and veterans in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Hotel Boston in Brighton and Northeastern University will provide 74 and 135 rooms respectively to members of Boston Police, Boston Fire and Boston EMS who have tested positive for COVID-19 or may have been exposed to a coworker with COVID-19, and are unable to effectively isolate themselves at home.

All are equipped with private bathrooms and a kitchenette.

Boston Univesity will be providing 75 rooms to Pine Street Inn’s shelter staff who have been working on the frontlines of the public health emergency by caring for people experiencing homelessness.

“Many of our staff members are working extremely long hours and unable to make it home between shifts, so it means so much to have a place where they can rest and regroup,” Lyndia Downie, Pine Street President and Executive Director said.

In an effort to reduce population density in Boston’s veteran’s housing, the New England Center and Home for Veterans is relocating as many as 40 to 50 COVID-negative residents to a former Brighton nursing home.

The facility has been dormant for a year and is set to undergo some necessary repairs before the vets are allowed to move in.

“We’re entering the most crucial point in the outbreak and the beginning of a surge in cases that will be very difficult for our city,” Walsh said. “That’s why we are doing everything we can to be prepared and increasing our medical and care capacity for vulnerable populations and hospitals.”

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