The Tiger Hotel is offering the rooms on its seventh and eighth floors as an isolation center for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, according to an email from the hotel’s human resources coordinator to the staff.

The email also encouraged staff to continue social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and regularly disinfecting hard surfaces. The isolation floors are also now off-limits to employees to “promote and ensure (their) safety.”

Scott Clardy, assistant director of the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, is excited about the Tiger Hotel’s decision.

He sees this as a necessity for the community and is glad to see the hotel open up for people who need to isolate.

“There are times when they can’t isolate in their own home, especially in smaller homes with just a couple people where isolating from the others is difficult,” he said, “or for people without homes.”

There had been a request for bids for something similar earlier in the pandemic, but there were no successful bidders at that time.

“One bid was made, but it didn’t meet the criteria,” Clardy said.

Two other hotels are offering similar services, according to Clardy. Motel 6 is offering some rooms for quarantine, and Extended Stay America is also offering rooms for self-isolation.

Those wishing to book rooms do so at their own cost, as no county funds are underwriting the effort. 

Jay Gandhi, an employee at Motel 6, clarified that the quarantine rooms are for students that are not COVID-19 positive. The hotel has set aside rooms at a discounted price for students: for a single student it is $44.99 and $54.99 for two students.

"The rooms are for those that need to quarantine away from [COVID-19] positives, not for quarantining those that have it," Gandhi said.

Jennifer Wade, a representative of Extended Stay America, also clarified that there were no specific rooms set aside for quarantine but rather that they were simply not turning away any guests.

"Extended Stay America exists to care for its guests," Wade said.

Masks are required in the common areas for both guests and employees, according to Wade.

The hotel is also offering a housing solution for students, but rates are unclear as they are determined by location. The starting rate is $43.99 but Extended Stay America currently has no rooms available in Columbia.

Amy Schneider, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, sees this as a good thing for the community overall.

“It’s good that there’s hotels willing to work with the community,” she said. “The hotels are safe and are working safely with those in isolation and those that are guests in the hotel.”

Schneider, much like Clardy, is glad to see the hotels opening up for those isolating.

“I’m glad the hotels can help the community in any way they can,” Schneider said.

The Missourian reached out to the Tiger Hotel for a comment but did not receive a response.

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • Public Life reporter, fall 2020 Studying International Digital/Print Journalism Reach me at dneumaier@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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