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Dozens quarantine in San Diego hotel rooms to protect families and public from spreading COVID-19

Crowne Plaza Hotel
Posted at 8:12 PM, Jan 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 11:42:18-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - During the pandemic, many feel the pain of separation from their loved ones to keep them safe.

Dozens are staying in San Diego County coordinated hotel rooms under Project Room Key to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

One woman, who wished to only share her first name, said she became homeless during the pandemic because she didn't want to burden her family.

"My mom had open heart surgery ... Everyone's really fragile, my brother has new babies in the home and I just don't want to get anybody sick," Rita said.

She said she's been living at the Convention Center and last week a woman in a neighboring cot came down with the coronavirus.

From March to Dec. 31, the county reports 229 staff and shelter clients tested positive.

On New Year's Eve, she was transported by ambulance to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mission Valley to isolate. She had a headache and feared she would get sick too.

"They give us our own thermometer and we have to take our temperature and they call us every day to see what our symptoms are and if we have any symptoms and if we need any medical help," she said twirling the thermometer in her hands.

She said she gets three good meals left on her hotel door each day, coffee upon request, and laundry service.

Rita was touched by how well she's been treated.

"When I got my laundry back, they took the effort to fold it the right way, not just shove it in a bag and give it back to me like I'm nobody." She said wiping away a tear. "It meant to me like I am somebody to these people. I'm not just a number or a case file."

On each floor she said there is a guard making sure everyone stays in their room and outside in white tent security ensures no one enters or leaves the property.

Rita said she feels safe and thankful for everyone who made this happen, from taxpayers to the employees risking their lives each day.

"It has to be hard work, because they come in here not knowing if they're going to catch it and take it home to their families, and that has to be, you know," she said filled with emotion. "People on the front lines they're amazing."

Rita said it can be lonely. The last time she saw someone face to face with Dec. 30.

She gets tested Monday and will know Wednesday if she has the virus.

If she is healthy she will be released from her room. If she tests positive, she will stay at least another 10 days.

For now, she's staying positive, looking at her hotel stay like a vacation.

ABC 10News reached out to the hotel to find out how many people they've housed during the pandemic and if any have passed away. We will update this article when they return our call.