As Quebec pushes to contain coronavirus, hotels ready to ease burden on health-care system

Hotels in Quebec are preparing to ease a looming burden on the province’s health-care system amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Public health authorities are in discussions with hotels located near hospitals about the possibility of offering up accommodations for patients.

The Association Hôtellerie Québec said in a statement that hotels would take in patients who are not contagious and have minor health issues while hospitals treat individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Xavier Gret, president of the association, said hoteliers are mobilizing because they want to help fight the outbreak.

“It should, however, be understood that we have no indication to predict the effort that will be required for this purpose,” he said in a statement.

The Quebec government is expected to provide an update on the provincial response to the outbreak on Friday afternoon.

The province is aiming to curb the spread of the virus amid a spike in cases. There are 121 confirmed cases in Quebec as of March 19, up from 50 on March 16.

As of Thursday, about 4,000 people are awaiting test results, and nearly 6,000 individuals have been given the all-clear.

Quebecers are being urged to stay home as much as possible after the province closed schools, banned large indoor gatherings and shut down non-essential services.

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