City adds Embassy Suites in Northwest Austin to arsenal of quarantine facilities in battle against coronavirus

The 150-room Embassy Suites hotel is located near The Arboretum in Northwest Austin. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
The 150-room Embassy Suites hotel is located near The Arboretum in Northwest Austin. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)

The 150-room Embassy Suites hotel is located near The Arboretum in Northwest Austin. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin has added the 150-room Embassy Suites hotel in Northwest Austin to its growing roster of hotels converted into quarantine wards in the area’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hilton-owned hotel at 9505 Stonelake Blvd joins the 292-room Crowne Plaza at 6121 N. I-35, Austin; the 129-room La Quinta Inn at 4200 S. I-35, Austin; and the 71-room Motel 6 at 8010 N. I-35, Austin, as hotels the city has leased to house coronavirus patients or use as a temporary shelter for residents experiencing homelessness.

The Crowne Plaza and, now, the Embassy Suites are considered isolation facilities and house patients with confirmed cases or suspected cases of coronavirus who cannot safely quarantine at home. As of April 22, the Crowne Plaza was housing 80 patients. The La Quinta Inn and the Motel 6 are, under official lingo, called "ProLodges" and are reserved for "individuals experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for negative outcomes if they become COVID-19 positive and are unable to practice social distancing in their current location," according to a city spokesperson. As of April 22, the La Quinta Inn had 61 guests and the Motel 6 had 58 guests.

Austin City Council unanimously approved spending up to $2.1 million to lease the roughly 137,000-square-foot Embassy Suites on April 23. The initial 31-day lease comes with two 31-day extension options. The lease expense includes costs to serve three meals a day and a snack to residents and employees at the facility, at $62.84 per person per day. The city estimates it will offer 150 patient meals per day and 30 staff meals per day.

Last week, the hotel facilities received an influx of residents after the Salvation Army homeless shelter in downtown Austin confirmed 12 positive coronavirus cases in a single day. The organization moved its 187 residents into the city’s hotel quarantine wards while the shelter underwent a deep clean and a reorganization of beds.
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following two years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Su


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