WINDSOR -- The WFCU Credit Union and Farhi Holdings Corporation announced Monday they have partnered to provide free hotel rooms to frontline healthcare workers at Windsor Regional Hospital.

The accommodations are for workers who are unable to return to their homes due to the risks they face in responding to COVID-19 and their unique personal family health issues.

Frontline healthcare workers will be provided accommodations for up to three months, at the Best Western Plus Waterfront Hotel located at 277 Riverside Drive West, Windsor.

Farhi and WFCU have committed over $650,000 to the initiative.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” said Shmuel Farhi, President, Farhi Holdings Corporation. “Responding to COVID-19 requires all of us to think outside of the box and move quickly. It is our pleasure to support the Windsor community and the regional hospital.”

Farhi said they hope that the accommodation will provide relief to the frontline workers.

“Accommodations have been identified as a critical need by many frontline workers who are concerned about returning home to their families due to the risks this may pose, especially if they have unique personal family health issues,” said Farhi.

About 40 rooms have been reserved at the Best Western by WFCU and Farhi for use by staff from Windsor Regional Hospital.

“We want to help alleviate some of the stress these individuals are facing by providing them with a place to return to get the respite they need without the fear of potentially putting their families and loved ones at risk,” said Eddie Francis, president and CEO of the WFCU Credit Union.

Windsor Regional Hospital will be coordinating the allocation of the rooms in conjunction with the hotel.

“Windsor Regional Hospital is overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support for our staff on the frontlines, and the care they provide to patients,” said David Musyj, president and CEO Windsor Regional Hospital. “I want to thank Shmuel Farhi, Farhi and Eddie Francis, WFCU for coming forward, at this difficult time, to provide hotel accommodations for Windsor Regional Hospital staff.”

“These are really special circumstances, it’s not for everyone nor are we asking our staff to stay in hotels by the way,” said Gisele Seguin, the director of public affairs at Windsor Regional Hospital. “There are some people that with proper precautions will remain at home without a problem.”

The option of a hotel room was well-received by healthcare workers on the Sunday midnight shift according to Seguin - a dozen staff have already expressed their interest.

“One person to not compromise family members was sleeping in a garage and said that he would take advantage of that immediately,” said Seguin.

The move may help ease some concerns targeted at healthcare workers as possible sources of COVID-19 transmission.

In the last week, there have been calls for increased measures at the border from the likes of Windsor-Essex Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed and Windsor West MP Brian Masse — including enhanced screening of healthcare workers — to limit the possibility of healthcare workers carrying the virus back to the region from hard hit Detroit and Michigan.

“For healthcare workers that cross the border from Michigan regularly to work in Windsor, the ability to limit cross border traffic would be a welcomed measure to help fight this pandemic,” said Ahmed.