As COVID Cases Rise, Missoula May Reopen Free Quarantine Shelter
Back at the beginning of the pandemic, the city of Missoula purchased the Sleepy Inn Motel on Broadway to use as a sort of quarantine shelter for those infected with COVID. The idea was that it was a good place for people to isolate if they had nowhere else to go, and hundreds of people used the motel over the course of the next year.
Then, when COVID cases were trending downward, Missoula shut down the Sleepy Inn Motel at the end of June 2021. Less and less people were using it, and it didn't make sense to keep it going due to the monthly cost of running the building.
Well, COVID cases are on the rise again (Montana is back to reporting about one thousand new cases in the state per day), so the city is looking into reopening the Sleepy Inn Motel so that it can continue its purpose as a safe quarantine zone. They just need to figure out how to do it - the hotel was being funded by costs that were being reimbursed thanks to Montana's COVID state of emergency. That state of emergency was recently ended, so Missoula needs to come up with a new way to get the hotel running.
The city will have to fund the operation of the building, plus employees who work there and pay for a "plumbing issue" that they discovered when the building shut down. There's no firm date yet, but they're hoping to have answers to these financial issues in just a couple of weeks.