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NCH looks for vacant homes for workers infected, exposed to coronavirus

NCH Healthcare System is taking precautions for its health care workers ahead of what could become a need, as it searches for possible future housing for staff that has either been exposed to or tested positive for the coronavirus.

NCH is asking private citizens in some communities to open up their vacant homes or condos to health care workers with confirmed exposure to the coronavirus or who have already tested positive Saturday.

NCH representatives say this is not a unique proposal, that it’s something health care systems across the nation are implementing. But neighbors in the Naples community Carlton Lakes question if this is the best way to help health care workers while keeping their own community safe.

In an email sent out by NCH, it asks neighbors to open their vacant homes or condos to health care workers who must be quarantined for 10 to 14 days because they’ve been exposed to or contracted COVID-19.

The email details that frontline workers would be cared for by their families, who would deliver food and medicine to the front door. After the stay, the hospital system said it would pay for a home to be disinfected.

But neighbors at Carlton Lakes worry this could put their primarily elderly community at risk.

A spokesperson with NCH told us finding new housing for these health care workers would prevent them from spreading the illness to their families. They say there is not an immediate need here yet, but the hospital system is working to secure accommodations in case the need arises.

Neighbors at Carlton Lakes stress their appreciation for medical workers, but they say they are hoping this idea is reconsidered.

NCH says Airbnb, hotels and private citizens have stepped up nationally to help out with this effort.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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