CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Is your hotel also housing COVID-19 patients? The 7 News I-Team has discovered at least one hotel is being used for COVID isolation, while also taking guest reservations.
The I-Team has learned the Best Western hotel on Dingens Street in Cheektowaga -- across the street from Stanley G. Falk School — is being used by Erie County to house people, who need to isolate because of COVID and don't have stable housing.
Erie County is screening people for placement at what's being called the county's "hotel facility."
They are being referred by agencies that work with the homeless and healthcare facilities.
But when you call and ask for a reservation at this hotel, you're able to book a room, no questions asked. There is no information disclosed about who is staying here.
The I-Team has learned, there is a separate entrance and set of rooms specifically for people who are isolating. It is away from the general public.
The county is using federal money to pay for this. The total cost, according to a spokesperson from the Department of Health, is about $5,000 per week. That pays for hotel room, meals, garbage and cleaning.
It's unclear how many people are actually staying in isolation at this hotel.
A spokesperson for the Erie County Department of Health says, "We began the isolation facility program at the start of the pandemic – March 2020. We have changed hotels in that time. Costs have varied as the number of contracted rooms has changed based on demand."
That spokesperson also says, "Individuals must be able to care for themselves as we do not provide medical care at our facility. We provide individuals with instructions to contact their physician or 9-1-1 if they feel they need emergent medical attention."
The I-Team did reach out to Best Western's corporate office. They did not respond to our request for information about precautions taken and information disclosure.