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Coronavirus: B.C. hotel chain finds way to help health-care workers who want to self-isolate

Hotel chain partners with United Way to create fund for healthcare worker hotel stays
As communities struggle to contain the COVID-19 virus, the public continues to try and find ways to recognize those battling it out on the front-lines. Now a B.C. Hotel chain has found a unique way to support those essential service workers with help from private donations. Travis Lowe has details.

B.C. health-care workers have reportedly been sleeping in their cars to avoid bringing germs home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has prompted a flood of donations to a fund set up by the United Way of Greater Victoria in partnership with Accent Inns.

“We were flooded with phone calls by people in the community that wanted to pay for these stays for these essential service workers,” Accent Inns spokesperson Trina Notman said.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak investigated at West Kelowna plant nursery

Donations to the ‘Hotels for Front-line Workers’ fund now total over $30,000.

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“That’s enough to pay for 500 rooms,” Notman said, noting they’ve reduced their rates to accommodate the special need during the pandemic.

Kelowna General Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Jeff Eppler calls the donations incredibly generous.

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“These kinds of things mean so much,” Dr. Eppler said. “If it’s going to make people working the front-lines less anxious and safer, I think its a wonderful thing.”

Beyond the hotel fund for health-care workers, Dr. Eppler said everyone can support them by obeying quarantine orders and social distancing.

“It’s important to never let your guard down,” he said. “We always have to make sure we are observing the proper procedures using the proper personal protective equipment.”

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Donations to frontline workers in the Southern Interior of B.C. during the pandemic can be made through the United Way offices in Kelowna and their website here.

To donate to hotel stays for frontline workers, click here to access the United Way of Greater Victoria.