ORLANDO, Fla. – Vaccination sites continue to pop up, from grocery stores to convention centers to airports.
Add hotels to this list of possible locations after the American Hotel & Lodging Association sends a letter to the President-elect’s transition team and other senior government agencies advocating for vaccine delivery assistance.
“America’s hotels stand ready to work with America’s governors as states push ahead with COVID-19 vaccine delivery,” the letter said. “By rapidly mobilizing an existing network of locations, hotels can help improve the delivery and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in communities across the country to better streamline and build on current government efforts.”
To view the full letter, Click here.
“The faster the vaccine is distributed and the sooner we can get back to normal, the sooner our industry can get back to normal,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “As you know, we were hurt more than anyone.”
There are more than 450 resorts, inns and hotels in our area, according to Visit Orlando.
As CEO of Caribe Royale Orlando, Amaury Piedra welcomes the idea.
“It’s definitely something people should help with,” he said. “I know from a Caribe Royale perspective that if we had the opportunity to be a part of it, I would appreciate it.”
Back in October News 6 watched Caribe Royale help those in need with donated mattresses, dressers, and box-spring beds for the central Florida charitable mustard seed, which was inundated with inquiries after many were laid off or on leave during the pandemic.
Piedra points to large fridges, meeting rooms, ample parking space and existing cleaning procedures as the main reasons why a location in many hotels would make sense.
“While a mobile site, or a site that is not used to hosting groups or anything like that, has to put it together on the fly, large hotels and midsize hotels already have that set up,” he said. “Ultimately, we are all part of the communities we serve.”
During a scheduled press conference, Dr. Orange County’s Raul Pino told News 6 that Disney could later become a vaccination center too.
“They are coming [Friday] to see what we’re doing at the Orange County Convention Center, ”he said. “So this is one possibility they are considering.”
It’s not clear when central Florida hotels could become vaccination sites. However, Rogers cited several examples across the country where they are already in use.
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