Colleges across the country sent students home in March because of the coronavirus. Now, they’re debating when to bring them back — and how.
New York University is considering renting thousands of hotel rooms near its Greenwich Village campus to serve as dorms, Bloomberg reported. The rooms would allow for more social distancing between students, who NYU expects will return to campus in the fall.
Other universities are also weighing hotel rooms as an option to keep students socially distant. Northeastern University will use an additional 2,000 beds in hotels and apartments near its Boston campus to reduce density in its residency halls.
The move would alleviate two problems at once: empty hotels, deprived of revenue, and the logistics of bringing students back safely to college campuses. Hotels have seen occupancy rates plummet amid stay-at-home orders. In recent weeks, hotel occupancy has recovered somewhat, but remains at roughly half of normal levels.
In March, some of the most expensive hotels in the country housed emergency workers and non-critical Covid-19 patients. In April, New York City moved some homeless persons into additional hotel rooms to prevent the spread of coronavirus in crowded shelters.
[Bloomberg] — Georgia Kromrei