George Washington University Dorms to Temporarily House Medical Staff
Healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 will have the option to stay at GW rather than return home and possibly expose their families to the virus.
Washington, D.C. – George Washington (GW) University’s Foggy Bottom campus has opened 65 of its dorm rooms to healthcare workers fighting COVID-19.
The rooms are in Munson Hall and have kitchens and bathrooms, reports the Washington Post. The on-campus residences will temporarily house doctors, nurses and other medical staff who either can’t or don’t want to go back to their own homes and families when the clinicians are not on the front lines providing medical care during the coronavirus crisis.
“As we navigate the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is one way that GW can show its support for the hard working and dedicated frontline health care teams,” said Barbara L. Bass, MD, Vice President for Health Affairs, Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and CEO of the GW Medical Faculty Associates in a statement on Monday.
The move was prompted by the expected hospital patient surge that the District is expected to soon experience.
Some George Washington University students, however, are unhappy that they weren’t allowed to retrieve their personal belongings. One student created an online petition that garnered 1,460 signatures, saying they have the right to personally move their property.
Many other universities have offered their residence halls as hospital overflow for patients with COVID-19, including Tufts University in Boston and New York University, as well as Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.
Middlebury College in Vermont offered the use of some of its campus buildings for local officials creating emergency plans. The school’s ice hockey rink has also been drained to provide additional useable space.
Most U.S. colleges and universities have moved their students out of on-campus housing and switched to distance learning in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
GW is also offering drive-through COVID-19 testing to patients who’ve been referred by their primary-care providers.
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