The former Radisson hotel in Marietta will be used by the federal government to house some cruise ship passengers who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Credit: Jennifer Brett/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Jennifer Brett/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: Jennifer Brett/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Feds lease hotel for coronavirus-positive cruise ship passengers

The federal government will use a former hotel in Marietta to house Grand Princess cruise ship passengers who tested positive for the coronavirus but do not require hospitalization.

The former Radisson Hotel at 1775 Parkway Place is being leased by the government for the former passengers who “need a place to be isolated,” said Cheri Rice, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Federal officials were seen there Tuesday as fencing was installed around the site. Rice said the hotel will not replace the existing quarantine efforts in place at Dobbins and she does not anticipate the hotel being used to house others.

Cobb property tax records show the high-rise hotel originally built in 1985 is owned by Apsilon Management Marietta LLC.

The 218-room hotel, which has operated under different names over the years, was being remodeled by a new owner, city officials said. It’s located off Franklin Gateway and west of Interstate 75.

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The Grand Princess cruise ship docked March 9 in Oakland, California with 21 of the 3,500 people on board reported as being infected with the virus. Passengers were sent to four military bases, including about 500 to Dobbins.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 217 passengers were still at Dobbins, while 277 have departed and nine were being treated at local hospitals, Rice said. She said federal officials do not have details on how many people will be taken to the hotel or how long they will stay.

Marietta City Manager Bill Bruton said the federal government will be using the entire hotel.

“We were informed that it was for patients who tested positive, but do not have symptoms that would require them to have medical care,” he added.

Marietta police spokesman Chuck McPhilamy said the government is leasing the property and neither the public nor news media representatives will be allowed on the site due to medical privacy and patient confidentiality laws.

As of Wednesday, there were 197 confirmed cases of the virus in Georgia, including 28 in Cobb, 49 in Fulton, 18 in DeKalb and seven in Gwinnett counties.

Markus Scott, president of EyeQ Monitoring on Franklin Gateway near the site of the hotel, said the company is grateful for the steps being taken by the government to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. 

EyeQ Monitoring provides remote video surveillance and security resources to businesses. 

Scott said the government’s use of the hotel is understandable due to its proximity to Dobbins and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We all are rallying in the community right now to extend support to those affected and excited to see the impact this makes in that fight,” he said. 

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