St. Luke’s University Health Network and Lehigh Valley Health Network have approached Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Moravian College, Muhlenberg College and Lehigh University about space for medical professionals to stay in if they need to self-quarantine or do not feel comfortable going home to their families after working with patients, the colleges confirmed.
Additionally, Muhlenberg will use one of its houses for Lehigh County first responders who have been exposed to positive cases and need to be isolated from their families.
LVHN spokesman Brian Downs confirmed the hospital has been in discussion with local colleges “purely as contingency planning” for caregivers.
St. Luke’s also has talked to colleges about emergency planning, said spokesman Sam Kennedy.
Moravian has designated 38 beds in college-owned houses for doctors and nurses, President Bryon Grigsby said. Medical staff would have access to a bed, shower and kitchen at the Bethlehem college.
“Instead of them sleeping in cars, we can provide spaces for them to go for a night and get some rest, get a shower and get back to the hospital,” Grigsby said.
This article originally appeared in the Morning Call on April 4, 2020. To read it on the Morning Call website, visit Lehigh Valley colleges opening dorms for doctors and nurses on frontline of coronavirus fight