By SCOTT JACKSON
The Howard Johnson’s motel on Hancock Street has been repurposed as an isolation and quarantine center amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Group testing of Father Bill’s guests began Thursday. While they await test results, those guests will be lodged under medical and professional supervision at the motel. Those who test negative will be directed to Father Bill’s, and those who test positive will be directed to appropriate medical attention.
“While the first phase will focus on Father Bill’s, there are other members of the community that may be directed to this facility under the direction of Manet,” Koch said in a statement.
Quincy police will monitor and supervise the site around the clock, Koch said. The city is paying to use the motel through emergency funding.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Quincy increased to 264 on Thursday. Seventy of those individuals have made full recoveries while ten residents have died.
The total number of cases in Massachusetts increased to 18,941 on Thursday, according to the Department of Public Health, and the death toll increased to 503. There are a total of 2,007 cases in Norfolk County.
In addition to using the motel as an isolation center, Koch this week announced Cleaner Greener Quincy and the Quincy Senior Olympics, both of which were scheduled, have been posted until further notice.
The city has closed municipal buildings to the public. The city’s parks remain open, but playgrounds and basketball and tennis courts are closed.
Schools throughout the state are closed through May 4 and remote learning began statewide this week. The Quincy School Committee will meet Monday to decide whether April vacation will proceed as scheduled the following week.
The school system is offering grab-and-go meals at eight sites from 11 a.m. to noon on school days: Quincy and North Quincy High Schools and the Atherton Hough, Lincoln-Hancock, Clifford Marshall, Parker, Montclair and Snug Harbor Elementary Schools.