Government of Canada Announces Funding for New COVID-19 Safe Voluntary Isolation Centre in Peel, Ontario

·4 min read

REGION OF PEEL, ON, Nov. 26, 2020 /CNW/ - When experiencing symptoms, self-isolation is one of the most effective ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19. However, for some Canadians, crowded housing conditions and restrictive costs can make it unsafe or impossible to self-isolate, increasing the risk of community transmission.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced $6.5 million funding over 16 months for Peel Public Health to establish a safe, voluntary isolation site. This site will help Canadians in the Region of Peel who have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it have accessible accommodations to keep themselves and their community safe. This will help decrease community transmission of COVID-19 in Peel region by helping individuals who cannot safely self-isolate, due to crowded housing or insufficient space for proper distancing from household contacts.

Voluntary isolation sites will help reduce the risks of spread of the virus among household contacts, especially in Canada's most densely populated urban centres. These sites are one of our rapid response tools to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Funding is provided directly to communities who need it.

The program exists to fill a gap for urban centres and municipalities that are at-risk of high rates of transmission, as evidence indicates that individuals from lower-income and densely populated neighbourhoods are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including its most severe outcomes.

Sites selected under the Program will provide a centralized location where identified individuals can safely self-isolate for the required period. Local public health officials will identify eligible individuals who may be offered the option to transfer to the isolation site on a voluntary basis. For example, if a person is COVID-19 positive and lives in a home where there is no separate room in which they can isolate, they may be considered as a candidate for the voluntary self-isolation site. Individuals from the same household may also be considered if, for example, they cannot maintain a safe distance from a positive case(s).

Quotes

"As we work together to protect Canadians from COVID-19, the Federal Government is supporting communities with the Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program. These spaces will help lower community spread by supporting safe spaces for Canadians who are not able to safely self-isolate due to housing conditions or financial constraints."

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

"The Region of Peel welcomes this tremendous investment from the Government of Canada. Our situation in Peel is dire: COVID-19 cases and positivity rates are the highest they've been and hospital capacity is stretched thin. We also know that household transmission is a major driver of COVID-19 in our community, especially when people cannot safely isolate. The COVID-19 Safe Voluntary Isolation Centre is one solution to this critical issue. The site is a safe place and offers an option to those challenged to self-isolate at home when they've been affected by COVID-19. I recognize how difficult self-isolation can be socially, emotionally and financially, but it is what we need to do to break the chain of transmission in Peel."

Dr. Lawrence Loh
Peel Region Medical Officer of Health

Quick Facts

  • Peel is the second location to receive funding through the Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program, following the funding provided to Toronto Public Health earlier this year to establish a pilot project site.

  • The site will have approximately 40 units to accommodate individuals in the region who are unable to safely self-isolate at home, with capacity to grow to 80 units if needed.

  • Densely-populated neighbourhoods make it difficult for some to safely self-isolate, contributing to a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

  • The City of Toronto received $13.9 million in September 2020 to establish the first voluntary self-isolation facility in Canada as part of a pilot project.

  • Regular monitoring and reporting of each safe voluntary isolate site will be conducted in coordination with local public health officials.

  • The sharing of best practices will be encouraged among the selected isolation sites to optimize effective site operation and the administration of services to Canadians who access the sites.

  • To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are advised to follow local public health measures, avoid places that do not have controls in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms.

Associated Links
Canada.ca/coronavirus

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

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