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CHICAGO — While many hotels are down during the COVID-19 pandemic, one in Hyde Park is opening the door to its medical partner.

Just one mile apart, The Sophy Hyde Park is opening for University of Chicago Medical Center employees during the outbreak.

“Our property, being a neighborhood hotel, which our major partners are the University of Chicago and University of Chicago Medical Center,” a manager said. “Instead of suspending our operations, our ownership and our management team decided to donate our rooms to medical professionals in need from the hospital.”

Like hotels across the country, The Sophy saw reservations dip below 10 percent capacity because of the pandemic.

While many in the hospitality industry have been laid off, the hotel will open for University of Chicago medical workers free of charge.

That’s not the only change The Sophy has recently made.

“What it does allow considering everything for us to revamp our operations surrounding this virus,” a manager said. “That entails the additional cleaning measures that we’ve had to take place, the additional chemicals that we’ve had to bring onto the property, and because of the closure of the restaurant and the limited traffic that we’ve had we’ve been able to prepare ourselves accordingly for these professionals.”

Because of that, doctors and nurses can find a clean space to rest near the hospital and safely away from others. 

The staff started accepting hospital workers this week and plans to eventually have 50 rooms available.