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Hillsborough County Shares Facts on Quarantine and Isolation Sites

Two Hotels in the County Offering Shelter for Residents

Hillsborough County opened quarantine and isolation sites on April 2 at two hotels within the county to offer shelter for residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus and to quarantine those who have been exposed.

Hillsborough County is sharing facts about the hotels, the process, and the staffing at these two locations: Quality Inn & Conference Center, 2701 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa, and West Wing Hotel, 2501 E. Fowler Ave.

Why is Hillsborough County providing the hotel space?
Hillsborough County government has signed leases for, and opened, two hotels that will allow quarantine or isolation of specific individuals who the Florida Department of Health identifies as high-risk of getting -- or spreading - COVID-19. The sites are meant to prevent further spread of the virus by providing shelter, food, and basic services such as laundry and sanitation for qualifying residents who are able to care for themselves, but unable to stay in their own home. Guests at either hotel are not charged, and food is provided three times a day. The health department determines who is eligible to use the sites.

Can anyone be admitted into either hotel?
To qualify, an individual must be positive for COVID-19, or be a high-risk contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case. The health department automatically investigates all positive COVID-19 cases. Through that investigation, the health department will then identify and directly contact high-risk individuals. The health department will interview those individuals to decide exactly who may use the quarantine and isolation sites. There is no other method by which you can request use of these facilities. Potential guests will be contacted directly by the health department about quarantine and isolation if they qualify.

Once a guest is admitted, can he or she walk out of the property and return to the hotel room?
The guest cannot leave the premises and return. If a guest leaves the premises, he or she forfeits their room. It is recommended that guests stay in their room as much as possible. Guests can exit their rooms at certain times, but every time they open their door, they must wear a mask and gloves that is provided to them.

Are guests forced to stay at the hotels?
Guests are not forced to stay at the hotels. They stay at the hotels voluntarily and can leave at any time.

What do you recommend if a person doesn't qualify to be admitted into the hotels?
If you are sick and do not qualify for the isolation and quarantine sites, you are strongly encouraged to stay at home. Do not have visitors. Do not share things like towels and utensils. Stay at least 6 feet away from other people in the home. Stay in a specific "sick room" if possible. Use a separate bathroom if available. Wash hands frequently throughout the day for at least 20 seconds. Clean high-touch surfaces, like faucets and light switches often. More tips are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Florida Department of Health websites.

Are there cruise ship passengers and employees who have been admitted to these hotels?
The Florida Department of Health was notified that the Norwegian Insignia will be docking in Tampa to disembark crew members. No passengers are on the ship. The crew members will be taken directly to a private plane in Miami, where they will then leave the United States to their home countries. This is being coordinated by the CDC, and you will need to contact them for more details.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
Quarantine is for people exposed, but asymptomatic (not showing any symptoms). A person will be in the quarantine hotel if they were exposed to a confirmed case or if they live with a confirmed case and are unable to safely relocate or cohabitate. If someone in the quarantine hotel becomes symptomatic, they will be relocated to the isolation hotel.

Isolation is for people who have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

How are the two hotels staffed?
There is a contracted security staff, contracted site management staff, County liaison, and County Task Force leadership who are on the premises 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hotel staff is also on site. No one enters rooms other than guests.

When the quarantine and isolation sites are no longer needed, both hotels will undergo medical-grade cleaning and sanitation.

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the region, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, call (813) 272-5900, the County's main information line.