City Manager Tom Ambrosino said the contract for the Quality Inn quarantine hotel is about to end on June 9, but he is hoping that there is a way to extend the operations there even though cases in the City have steadily declined in the last few weeks.
There were 14 new cases reported on Tuesday night, and the City said it was encouraged to report the infection rate had slowed substantially. There were 2,496 positive cases as of May 19, but 1,124 residents had recovered. The death total was at 143 as of May 19.
At the height, there were 75 or more new cases per day reported to the City, but now that number has been in the teens or low-20s each day.
“The trend is still in a positive direction,” he said. “We hope it continues in that direction because we aren’t looking for any spikes.”
Even with that good news, the Quality Inn quarantine hotel – which is split between Chelsea, Revere, and Lynn – is still something Ambrosino would like to keep intact.
“Our preference would be to keep it going longer and how we can do that is not clear,” he said. “It’s up in the air.”
The occupancy of the hotel has hovered in the mid-70s for the last few weeks, with 69 reported there Tuesday night. About half of those there are Chelsea residents, and the operation has 100 rooms available.
One alternative would be to send residents in quarantine to the EnVision Hotel in Everett, which is paid for entirely by the state and not any City resources. However, Ambrosino said he prefers the Quality Inn.
“We think our hotel operates much more efficiently,” he said.
• City Hall to Have Limited Opening June 1
The City is still working to have a soft opening of City Hall on June 1, but don’t think it will be the same situation as it was in the past.
Ambrosino said they would likely have a limited schedule and limits on the numbers of people inside – as well as an appointment schedule system.
“We’re still trying to do a soft opening of City Hall a week from Monday,” he said. “We may not open on that Monday, but we may. We’ll have an announcement on Thursday of next week.”
He said there will be very little operations in house at the time, and many employees will still be working from home.
“It’s not business as usual,” he said. “It will be limited employees and limited public hours and limited occupancy in the building. People will be required to wear masks to enter. In many cases, you will only be allowed to come by appointment. We will operate very differently than we did before. That will be the new way certainly through the summer.”