OTTAWA -- Sixteen patients will be transferred from the Queensway Carleton Hospital to a Kanata hotel on Tuesday to continue their treatment, while freeing up more beds at the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of its COVID-19 response strategy, the west-end hospital will open 16 alternate level of care beds on a dedicated floor at the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Terry Fox Drive. The hotel operated by Marriott is closed to guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton toured the hotel set-up with Queensway Carleton Hospital President and CEO Dr. Andrew Falconer on Sunday.

Dr. Fullerton tweeted that the 16 patients will be transferred to the hotel on Tuesday.

“This new space allows more room at Queensway Carleton Hospital for those sick with COVID-19,” said Dr. Fullerton.

The Queensway Carleton Hospital said last week that the decision to move patients would be “made with careful consideration, with a focus on those patients whose acute care needs have been met and who can be safely cared for in an alternate environment.”

In a statement on Monday, the Queensway Carleton Hospital said moving the 16 patients to a new location will ensure they are safely cared for while reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure over the coming weeks.

The hotel will be staffed 24 hours a day by Queensway Carleton Hospital staff, and additional safety and security precautions have been installed at the hotel to ensure the same level of care.

The hospital’s visitation policy will continue at the hotel and all staff will continue to self-screen upon entry to the facility.  Staff assigned to work at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Kanata will not work at another location.

In a statement, Dr. Falconer says “Queensway Carleton remains committed to providing the best care for our patients while keeping them safe from COVID-19.”

“The new location will ensure that our patients continue to receive the quality care from our great staff while in a safe environment. It also frees up more beds in the hospital for those in need of acute care.”

The hospital has said the Fairfield Inn & Suites could accommodate up to 40 patients.