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Shelter in Peace hotel program offering quarantine rooms for healthcare workers

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DULUTH,MN-- For those working in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision whether to go home to their loved ones after work can be a very difficult one to make.

Many fear they may unknowingly be a carrier and spread the illness to their family.

ZMC hotels is stepping up to help those on the frontlines as hotel business has slowed down.

"Well really the phones weren’t ringing, we weren’t getting emails. We had to start thinking a little outside the box in terms of who is still traveling," said Jenn Kimborough, Western Region Director of ZMC Sales.

The hotel chain created the 'Shelter In Peace' program, which offers discounted rooms for hospital workers to quarantine instead of going home to their families.

"We took the extra steps to give these first responders, doctors, and nurses that peace of mind knowing that if they have to shelter somewhere that’s not at home, that we’ve got there back," said Kimborough.

The Inn on Lake Superior and the Days Inn Lakewalk in Duluth are participating, along with other ZMC hotels across the country.

They’ve trained staff and put new procedures in place to ensure safety for employees and guests.

Kimborough says extra cleaning and sanitation practices have been implemented.

“We bring in a heat machine and we treat the rooms at 140 degrees for three hours which effectively kills everything in that room.”

ZMC hotel officials say they are working with state governments on plans to use some of their hotels as recovery centers or quarantine locations for COVID-19 patients who don’t need hospitalization, should hospitals around the country need extra help.

“The whole property would be selected as a recovery center, and then we would run things real strict. We have a lot of policies and procedures that go into place in that situation," said Kimborough. "Then the guests that are in house, we would move them to one of our sister hotels so they stay healthy and they’re totally aware of what’s going on."

ZMC officials are hopeful they can help those who may need it most during these trying times.

“Instead of saying here’s a traditional hotel, thanks for all that you do. It was like what can we do on our end to really step it up," says Kimborough.

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Emma Quinn

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