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MassArt to provide housing for 150 medical workers who can't go home for now

Massachusetts College of Art and Design President David P. Nelson today alerted his campus community that the college, which includes buildings in the Longwood Medical Area, will house up to 150 medical workers who might not be able to get home again at the end of their shifts.

Each housing unit will include a bed and bathroom and will accommodate one individual. All facilities will be cleaned in accordance with industry standards for the COVID-19 emergency. In addition, we will make 140 parking spaces available in adjacent lots.

The units will be in buildings not currently housing the small number of college students who remained on campus after other students were ordered to move off campus in March, he added.

I know we are all incredibly grateful for the doctors, nurses and other medical workers who are on the front line of confronting this crisis, and we are eager to assist them. We are privileged to partner with them to play a small part in supporting their crucial work.


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Thanks to Mass Art for stepping up.

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Okay.. now other schools with empty dorms, your move.

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There are about a 1/2 dozen colleges with dorms nearby but are rooms actually needed by first responders? Before claiming Northeastern (for example) isn't helping, it's possible they haven't been asked or have had their offer turned down. MassArt might have the best configuration available and they are much closer than BU to Longwood.

I'm guessing most medical staff would rather go home until that isn't a possibility. I know some people who have already planned to segmented their house/apartment so that if the person in their household gets sick they can still return home without infecting the other person. They would find that preferable to one of them needing to stay in a college dorm for weeks.

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Even then, the commutes can be difficult after a sixteen hour shift bleeds into eighteen with paperwork.

And then again some nurses and doctors still live with roommates or with their parents.

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Many of those working in hospitals are scared of bringing COVID-19 home and infecting their loved ones, and would love an alternative place to stay. It's also very helpful to those who have long commutes and are not up to taxing drives after long grueling shifts.

It can provide peace of mind to health care providers as well as helping to flatten the curve.

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But before people accuse local colleges of not providing their dorms to hospital workers, they should at least confirm the colleges haven't offered to help.

There are thousands of dorm rooms within a mile or two of Longwood. Not all those rooms are needed and it doesn't make sense for all colleges to be offering up rooms if one or two buildings (such as MassArt) can accommodate everyone who needs a place to stay away from home while this is ongoing.

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friends with lots of medical people here. I can tell you there's a need. a BIG need. Not just in Boston, but everywhere.

As far as numbers? Sorry I don't know that. But you know, my point is less about "making all rooms available" but you know, it would be nice if some of these colleges just *offered*, even it wasn't taken up. Right now sentiment means a whole lot, even if its not taken up on. It shows they care.

Also keep in mind dorm rooms = small quarters. Doctors want to stay away from each other too. So even having people in nearby rooms sharing bathroom space is a hazard. The less people are together, the better.

Even still, we have homeless who need isolation space, or maybe even offer it to families who have members who need to isolate. I have a coworker who takes care of his elderly mom, what if he gets sick? C19 would kill her. And what can he do? nada. Got another one who lives with his wife, her mom, her sister, and their kids. One infection and that family is done.

I have a lot of people like that.. caretakers for elderly or large families with kids. Not just medical people, grocery clerks, Fedex peeps, CVS pharmacists..... all vital right now.

But whatever.. thousands of empty rooms sit empty while we have a crisis. I guess that's helping more than offering rooms to those who need them.

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How do you know what has and hasn't been offered?

Just remember, they can't just unlock the doors and walk away. Any building which is opened up needs to have maintenance people come back into work to keep it running. It needs janitors and security workers. These people don't want to get the virus either.

Hotels make more sense than dorms since hotels are already designed to have high turn-over with rooms and bathrooms that are entirely separate from adjacent spaces. And many dorm rooms in Boston still have the former occupant's belongings as not all schools made their students clear-out their rooms before they left.

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Don't have units with bathrooms en suite, which makes the communal bathrooms a potential hazards.

This really only works with apartment style units, which typically hold upperclassmen or graduate students. Those dorms are the ones that mostly still have students.

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Huntington Avenue? GREAT CHOICE!

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