SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday a new program to provide doctors, nurses and other critical front-line health care workers access to no-cost or low-cost hotel rooms.
The program will prioritize health care workers who come in direct contact with or are suspected of having direct contact with COVID-19 patients, or who test positive for COVID-19 but do not require hospitalization. By providing hotel rooms in close proximity to medical facilities, health care workers can avoid potentially spreading the virus once leaving their shift by selecting to stay in one of the pre-identified hotels across the state.
“California is fighting to protect those who are protecting us,” Newsom said. “Health care workers are the heroes of this moment. As we ramp up the workforce to meet the demand we are also stepping up to help keep our workers’ families safe by providing hotels as temporary housing options.”
Starting April 10, California Health Corps workers will be able to make reservations through the Department of General Services (DGS) CalTravelStore.
The state has already identified 150 hotels that have opted in to provide discounted rates, and more hotels are encouraged to sign up. Hotels interested in participating in offering discounted rooms to health care workers may email email@example.com.
DGS is prioritizing bringing hotels on line that are located in counties with high population density or have high numbers of COVID-19 positive test results, including: Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Diego and Fresno. This program is being funded in part through FEMA’s disaster relief funds and is also available for local governments to offer to their health care workforce.
Additionally, Newsom announced a partnership with United Airlines, which will provide free, round-trip flights for volunteer medical professionals from across California and the country who join the state’s health care workforce. The airline will connect essential workers and supplies to the areas where they are needed most during the COVID-19 pandemic with daily flights.
The Administration is also working with other major airlines, including Southwest, Alaska Airlines, and Delta, to offer similar services to the health care workforce.
“It is very encouraging to see our industry leaders step up and lend a hand in this effort to help us meet this moment, and support our health care workers to make sure they have resources to get to where they are needed,” said Newsom.
The Governor recently launched the California Health Corps, an initiative to expand California’s health care workforce and recruit health care professionals to address the COVID-19 surge.
Health care professionals with an active license, public health professionals, medical retirees, medical and nursing students, or members of medical disaster response teams in California are all encouraged to join. So far, 86,516 have signed up through healthcorps.ca.gov.
Learn more about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here. Visit covid19.ca.gov for critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy, and resources available to those impacted by the outbreak.