Houston leases additional 400 hotel rooms for first responder quarantine

The $48,000 deal with the Cambria Hotel in downtown Houston will provide up to 400 rooms over the course of the month. (Screenshot via Google Earth)
The $48,000 deal with the Cambria Hotel in downtown Houston will provide up to 400 rooms over the course of the month. (Screenshot via Google Earth)

The $48,000 deal with the Cambria Hotel in downtown Houston will provide up to 400 rooms over the course of the month. (Screenshot via Google Earth)

Houston City Council approved a lease for an additional 400 hotel rooms for use as quarantine sites by first responders April 8.

The $48,000 deal brokered with the Cambria Hotel in downtown Houston provides up to 400 rooms over the course of the month, or an average of 13 rooms per day.

In addition to applicable taxes, the agreement includes rooms provided at $60 per night plus a $40 per room meal package and $7 per room parking pass.

Houston City Council approved two other hotel leases April 1 and amended one April 8 to add an extension option at an increased rate. The two other leases provide a total of 186 rooms daily at rates between $50 and $60 per room. Government disaster declarations may allow the city to recoup losses from lease payments, city documents show.

One of the two original leases provides rooms specifically for homeless residents in need of quarantine sites, and the other provides rooms for municipal workers and first responders, Mayor Sylvester Turner told council April 1.


Among the three leases, Houston has committed about $360,000 toward quarantine sites and will have about 200 rooms available on any given day.

Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña said the department had 220 firefighters in quarantine as of April 7, and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said he has 125 employees in quarantine. These numbers include those who choose to quarantine at home.

"Our firefighters are doing OK, but in general there are concerns. There are concerns that they will take this back to their families," Peña told reporters April 7.

Quarantine sites are not the only temporary shelters popping up in the city. Earlier in the week, construction of a medical shelter began at NRG Stadium to serve as an overflow medical care site if area hospitals experience a surge.

The county committed up to $60 million for the 500-bed site April 7. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said she secured confirmation that the federal government will reimburse the county for up to 75% of the costs of opening and operating it.

Emma Whalen



MOST RECENT

The June 2 march will culminate with a rally at the steps of Houston City Hall. (Courtesy city of Houston)
Houston city buildings, some METRO services planned to shut down ahead of June 2 march for George Floyd

Ahead of the June 2 march with members of George Floyd's family through downtown Houston, several city services are planning to shut down early in the afternoon.

With protests over the death of George Floyd expected to continue this week in Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner has called for social distancing, and use of sanitizer and masks among protesters. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 388 new cases, 3 deaths confirmed June 1

With protests over the death of George Floyd expected to continue this week in Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner has called for social distancing, and use of sanitizer and masks among protesters.

Businesses shuttering their doors due to coronavirus restrictions lowered the sales tax revenue collected by cities in May compared to May 2019. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas comptroller reports 13.2% year-over-year state sales tax revenue drop in May

Tax collection revenue fell significantly in several sectors from May 2019 to May 2020, according to the comptroller's office.

EMS calls for suspected heart attacks are down nearly 50% since the coronavirus outbreak began in Houston. (Courtesy Houston Public Health)
Houston officials worry COVID-19 fears are driving down necessary hospitalizations

"You don't need to be afraid of catching the coronavirus at the hospital. Hospitals are safe to go to," Dr. David Persse said.

A march for George Floyd culminated at Houston City Hall on May 29. Another march is planned for June 2. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ahead of June 2 George Floyd march, Mayor Turner calls for peace, coronavirus protection

The march is led by Houston rappers Bun B and Trae Tha Truth and by members of George Floyd's family.

Demonstrators gathered at the Texas Capitol on May 31 to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas officials respond to demonstrations, unrest in wake of George Floyd killing

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state of disaster in Texas on May 31, while various city officials and law enforcment responded to protests and violence over the weekend.

A week after tentative reopening, Penny Quarter in Montrose closes

A week before, the cafe said it was tentatively reopening as coronavirus restrictions began to relax further.

Italian restaurant Patrenella's, located off of Washington Avenue in the Sixth Ward area, has closed. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
After 28 years, Sixth Ward Italian restaurant Patrenella's permanently closes

"All good things must come to an end; and after 28 glorious years, our time is now," a message from the restaurant reads.

The Houston Police Department wants to give George Floyd's funeral a police escort, chief Art Acevedo said. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Police Chief Acevedo wants to give police escort for George Floyd's funeral

He said he will provide more details at a rally scheduled for Tuesday, June 2 where protesters will march to City Hall.

The rate of new cases being confirmed is still up compared to the end of April and early May. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: Weekly total of new cases falls after two weeks of increases

The rate of new cases being confirmed is still up compared to the end of April and early May.

Amid COVID-19, Montrose-area resources step up support for vulnerable populations in LGBTQ community

Efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus are compounding the challenges some members of the LGBTQ community were already facing.

Texas Medical Center continued to see week-over-week decreases in the total number of active COVID-19 hospitalizations but also saw a significant increase in patient deaths, the medical center reported May 29. (Community Impact staff)
Texas Medical Center sees another week-over-week decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations

Texas Medical Center continued to see week-over-week decreases in the total number of active COVID-19 hospitalizations but also saw a significant increase in patient deaths, the medical center reported May 29.