Jul 13, 2020 > Written By Tamara Hardingham-Gill
Covid-19 effect on hotelier
What happened when luxury hotels swapped tourists for medical workers?
(CNN) — To say the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the hotel industry is something of an understatement. Countless big names were forced to close due to safety concerns and plummeting occupancy rates, with many yet to resume business again. However, some chose to open their doors to doctors, nurses and other key workers fighting against the virus that's taken the lives of at least 500,000 people around the world so far. In the US, a selection of hotel chains and independent properties offered up at least 3.4 million hotel rooms to healthcare workers on the frontlines. In New York, America's hardest hit state, the Four Seasons New York was the the first to put up some of the city's medical personnel, welcoming staff from the New York State Nurses Association on April 2. At least 225 rooms in the 52-story Midtown Manhattan building were made available for a seven-night minimum stay, with the team implementing various protocols, including a single point of entry where each person's temperature is checked. Many other top hotels followed suit, including the New Yorker, A Wyndham Hotel, which housed a number of medical workers deployed to the city to fight against the virus. Shadoe Daniels, a physician assistant from Pennsylvania who stayed here for four weeks throughout April, says bedding down at the historic hotel helped to take the pressure off him and his colleagues. "Honestly every day was exhausting," he tells CNN Travel. "But the New Yorker was very comfortable and convenient." "We all had traveled from a long distance away, so we needed a nice place to stay."