What To Bring To A COVID-19 Isolation Hotel
The things I wish I had known to bring
In January 2022, I stayed at an Isolation Hotel for 5 days. I stayed from January 7th to January 12th. I did not test positive for COVID-19, but my mom did. However, since I am immunocompromised, there was no way for me to safely isolate at home. So my family and I decided it would be best for me to isolate elsewhere.
I was picked up by an accessible transportation service (TransHelp shuttle) and taken to the Isolation Hotel on the morning of the 7th. I signed in at the entrance, providing my name, address, and phone number. Then I was told my room number and directed towards the elevators. The hotel had two wings: an isolation one and a recovery one, which were accessed by separate elevators. I stayed at the isolation side.
I was told to pack as if going on a small vacation and to bring the essentials and things to keep myself entertained. I found this to be vague so I decided to make a list of what to bring to an isolation hotel in case anyone else is wondering about this too.
- Menstrual products
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Face and body wash
- Hand soap
- Laptop (and charger)
- Portable game console (and charger)
- Notebook and writing materials
- Phone and charger
- Face masks
- Mobility aids and devices
Included With The Room (aside from usual hotel amenities)
- Meals left at door 3 times a day, around 8 am, 12 pm, and 8 pm
- 2 landline phones - one of which you can call the Salvation Army for isolation and social services and from which they and the nurses station check in on you daily
- A nurse comes to check your vitals daily (Tylenol and other basic over-the-counter medication is provided upon request)
- Menu for the week (you choose your options for the whole week on your first day)
- A doctor calls you and discusses your isolation stay with you
- Rule sheet for your isolation stay
- Able to go outside once daily, but must let the social services know when you leave and when you get back to your room (mask required)
- Garbage bags are provided and you can leave tied bags outside your door to get picked up in the morning
On my first day at the hotel, a doctor called me and discussed my situation with me. The doctor told me to isolate for 5 days, as is outlined by health officials, and told me I'd be free to go on the 12th.
My stay was mostly relaxing and nice. But there was one thing that surprised me about the hotel. That there was no soap or shampoo provided.
It is also important to note that accessibility at these hotels is minimal. As someone with chronic illnesses, I require a shower chair to shower. I called and asked the staff if they could provide me with one and they said they didn’t have any, but they let my family drop off my shower chair from home, which I appreciated. They also were not able to help me move my stuff and made me run around the hotel to find a luggage cart, which was very difficult for me as I have mobility issues.
You're allowed to leave any time on the last day of your isolation, as long as you let the staff know when. Then a nurse checks your vitals one final time. Then you are provided with a note signed by the nurse that confirms that you isolated for 5 days at the isolation hotel.
About the author
I am a poet and writer living just outside Toronto, Canada. I write about chronic illness, mental health, queer identities, and just about anything else. In my spare time I like to read, write, and hang out with my dog and cat.