In an op-ed for the New York Times, Professor Carl Minzner explains how New York could turn hotels into isolation centers for mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients, similar to China’s efforts to stop the spread of the disease.
New York City today is like Wuhan, the city in central China with the first known Covid-19 outbreak, in late January.
And now that the United States is facing its own epidemic, federal and state authorities are experimenting with many of the same tactics adopted by the Chinese authorities: vast lockdowns, sweeping travel restrictions, bans on public gatherings and mandatory social-distancing measures.
But they are omitting one crucial element of what helped make Wuhan’s response effective in the end: a form of centralized quarantine.
There is another solution, though: Using the tens of thousands of hotel rooms in the city, many of which currently are empty, to house people who have tested positive for the coronavirus or — given the dearth of available tests — who display mild Covid-19-like symptoms. Let’s turn hotels into temporary quarantine quarters.