Deerhurst Resort has donated a significant cache of supplies out of its own pandemic response arsenal to Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC), which manages both the Huntsville and Bracebridge hospitals.
The resort officially announced its temporary closure on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, as a result of the novel coronavirus. “We’re looking forward to a time when we can open and I’m sure things will be a little different at first,” said Deerhurst Resort general manager Jesse Hamilton. While he’s not sure what safety precautions may be needed at that time, he said the immediate need for safety equipment is more important.
Hamilton reached out to Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano and the Huntsville Hospital Foundation to find out whether there might be value in donating supplies consisting of approximately 4,000 disposable procedure masks, thousands of synthetic gloves, and disposable thermometers, and received a resounding yes.
They loaded the supplies and dropped them off at the hospital on the morning of March 24, 2020.
Hamilton said he’s in frequent contact with the mayor “just because we’re such a big part of the community and if there are things that we can do to help—even moving down the road whatever those things might be—we’ve made sure that the Town is aware that we’re ready to do that.”
Due to the pandemic and out of concern for both the safety of staff and guests, the resort decided to close down which meant laying off more than 200 full-time and part-time employees.
He said closing the resort and sending employees home was one of the toughest days of his professional life. “I also believe it was probably the toughest professional day of every employee’s life at the resort—those who had been laid off, those who were messaging the layoff, those who were here for an extra week-long period to get us closed who have now since been laid off, and the small few of us that are still here trying to look into the future and making sure that we’re doing the right things now so the minute we can open again and bring everybody back to work, that we can,” he said.
Last week, Deerhurst Resort also donated about $12,000 worth of perishable food first to their employees with the remainder going to the local food bank.
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