LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Despite hard times with the coronavirus, hotels across the country are still offering discounted rates or free rooms to cancer patients who travel for their treatments.
Every year, nearly 200,000 cancer patients travel more than 40 miles to a treatment. The American Cancer Society tries to soften the burden.
"With COVID-19, we are so lucky that all of our hotel partners here in Lexington have agreed to stay on board, either at their complimentary rate or their discounted rate," Program Manager of the Mission Delivery at the ACS Kelsey Lewis said.
To help flatten the curve and keep cancer patients safe, the hotels have made changes. The Bluegrass Extended Stay has closed their lobby and now uses a drive-thru window to interact with guests.
"We don't want people to be in the rooms at the same times, practicing social distancing of course, how they do their breaks, General Manager Sami Shalah said. "So there's several things that have changed. Luckily we were on the path where it wasn't such a drastic change and it wasn't that big cleaning wise."
So far this year, 30 people through the American Cancer Society have visited the Extended Stay. With less people traveling, there has been more rooms available for cancer patients.
"Knowing that we can give them a safe, clean place, where I feel like their odds of not getting sick, giving them any kind of relief has been really nice," Shalah said.