Hospitality for Hope offers hotels as vaccine sites

A US hospitality industry group has contacted the Biden administration to offer hotels for Covid-19 vaccination sites, reports Tina Nielsen

In another example of the hospitality sector’s willingness to play a supporting role in the Covid-19 crisis, The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has contacted President Joe Biden’s team to offer hotel properties as vaccine administration sites.

In a letter sent to the US administration along with other key organizations involved in the massive vaccination effort, AHLA pledges to “step in and assist the community and alleviate the current burden on our health systems in a time of national need”.

“Since the start of the pandemic, our industry has been on the front lines to support national public health and safety priorities. AHLA launched the Hospitality for Hope initiative in early 2020, identifying more than 20,000 hotels willing to provide temporary housing for emergency and healthcare workers during the Covid-19 public health crisis,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of ALHA.

“The initiative identified a total combined 2.3 million rooms located in close proximity to established healthcare facilities for frontline workers to use as they worked around the clock to save lives and provide lodging for those exposed to Covid to quarantine safely.”

Uniquely positioned

The Association says hotels are particularly well placed to offer assistance due to several favourable elements. First, there are 50,000 hotels in every state – a geographical reach that supports a wide distribution of the vaccine in cities, suburbs and rural communities. Hotels tend to be in easy to reach locations, near transport hubs and often have ample parking space, which could be used as a vaccine administration sites.

Further, hotels have the capacity to implement safe distancing as well as round-the-clock operations and they already have comprehensive cleaning protocols, having adapted ALHA’s Safe Stay cleaning initiative.

Last but not least most hotels will have the refrigeration capabilities to store vaccines safely and effectively.

“With the next phases of vaccination distribution underway, hotels have the unique capability to help provide additional locations to assist with the administration of the vaccine,” concludes Rogers.

“As an industry, we have always stepped up to help our neighbors and communities in a time of need, including early-on in the pandemic through Hospitality for Hope. The industry looks forward to continuing this work in partnership with the public and private sector to support this next phase of recovery.”

Tina Nielsen