ORLANDO, Fla. – The Ronald McDonald Houses of Central Florida will stay closed while cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the state.
Families with children in the hospital have leaned on Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida for decades, each year about 2,700 families stay at the houses.
"He's been through a lot, definitely," Rebecca Adkins, mother of 3-year-old Matayo said.
Adkins son received his third liver transplant at an Orlando hospital in March, and has been receiving treatment for the last four months. During that time, Adkins said her family has been staying at a Ronald McDonald House, because their home is more than an hour drive from the hospital.
Starting July 6, families were moved from the Ronald McDonald Houses in Orlando to hotels after, according to the charity organization, “due to positive cases of COVID-19 in our Houses and the rising number of cases in our community.”
The nonprofit organization planned to revisit the plan to close the houses on July 18, and for now, the families will remain in hotels close by the hospitals.
“Of course this is not something you plan for, and this is not something you expect so this is an added cost because we are providing these hotel accommodations to these families at no cost to them,” Priya Aboul-hosn, Marketing & Communications Director for Ronald McDonald House Charity of Central Florida.
To continue serving the families during the pandemic is estimated to cost the organization more than $50,000 dollars.
According to a tweet from RMHCC, until there is a 14-day decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations the houses will not reopen.
We have an important announcement about our organization and COVID-19. We look forward to welcoming families back into our Houses soon. We still need your help during this difficult time. Help support our current families at https://t.co/6yBjgmDqSv pic.twitter.com/7LX35SS6BL— RMHC of Central FL (@RMHCCF) July 17, 2020
“We have to see what’s happening in the community, we have to see how we can move forward and we’re putting in our plans in place, but yes, we will reopen,” Aboul-hosn said.