‘The Staff Here Was Awesome’

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Lord Baltimore Hotel has been transformed into a place for COVID-19 patients to stay who aren’t sick enough to go to the hospital, but don’t have a place to quarantine.

Plush beds, room service, activities for kids and medical staff are all on site for COVID-19 patients at the Lord Baltimore Hotel who otherwise would have nowhere else to go.

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“For many folks who are unstably housed or who live in congregate living situations, they’re not able to do that, so the Lord Baltimore Hotel is a place for them to come and to be quarantined,” Dr. Chuck Callahan, Vice President of Population Health at the University of Maryland Medical Center, said.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

The Baltimore City Health Department, Mayor’s Office, University of Maryland Medical System and Lord Baltimore Hotel have been partnering since May to turn the hotel into a triage, respite and isolation center.

It’s a place for people to go and quarantine who aren’t sick enough to go to the hospital. They stay until they no longer show symptoms.

“The services that we offer here really help support their illnesses to make sure they have what they need and don’t have to go out into the community to protect the community from getting COVID,” Amanda Rosecrans, of the Baltimore City Health Department, said.

Everyone quarantining here is first referred, then screened to determine if the hotel is the right place for them to stay.

Right now, no one else besides the COVID-19 patients and their families are staying here.

“It’s an opportunity to serve and help those who need it most heal from COVID,” Onahlea Shimunek, General Manager of Lord Baltimore Hotel, said.

Ranette Coats and her children stayed at the hotel while her boyfriend and their dad, David, battled COVID-19 in the hospital.

They were living in a shelter before they heard about the center. She said it was an extremely difficult time, but the hotel made a big difference in helping her get through it.

“I missed a lot of time with him, but we were here for a while and the staff here was awesome,” Coats said.

It provided the family with much needed support, snacks and even activities for the kids.

“If I had to rate it, it would be like 100 stars,” Korezse Wallace, who stayed at Lord Baltimore Hotel, said.

“They were life savers when it came to us,” Coates added.

Individuals looking to see if they or a family member qualify to stay should call 443-984-8915, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

An intake clinician will assess and make sure the individual will be safe in isolation. If the prospective resident is appropriate, a specialist will coordinate the transport of the resident to the center.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.


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