County commissioners consider leasing hotel space for first responders

First responders in Alachua County who are afraid of exposing family members to COVID-19 are sleeping in their cars County Chair Robert Hutchinson said during the emergency county commission meeting on March 24th.

“We talked about the possibility of leasing a hotel for the purpose of providing a bed and a room for first responders and medical personnel to be able to go to if they believe they have been exposed and don’t want to go home,” Hutchinson said.

“There are folks who are willing to take a risk with themselves, but they’re not willing to take a risk with their family,” he added. “In many places they are sleeping in their cars because they won’t go home.”

Upon hearing that Commissioner Ken Cornell said, “I’m behind that Hutch. Whatever we have to do, 100-percent.”

The county manager verified that the tourism manager is already searching for space.

“Right now the hotel occupancy is at 15 percent,” Hutchinson said. “I’m sure somebody could use the business.

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