To support British Columbians who need a place to self-isolate and to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Province is partnering with local governments, non-profits and the hotel industry. So far, more than 900 spaces have been secured at 23 sites including hotels, motels and community centres throughout B.C.
In Prince George, one site has been secured offering seven spaces.
“These new spaces are a critical part of how we can support those who are vulnerable in our community, including those who are experiencing homelessness or living in communal locations where the virus could spread more quickly,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a news release. “In partnership with health authorities and local government, these new spaces are helping us mitigate the effect of this virus and support our health-care system in communities across the province.”
These new rooms and community centre beds are assisting a range of people, including people experiencing homelessness, people without safe spaces to self-isolate and youth.
In addition, some hotels are reserved specifically for people who have COVID-19 and need a place to self-isolate while they recover. Other spaces are for patients being discharged from hospitals who do not have COVID-19 and who do not need emergency care, but still require ongoing health care – freeing up much needed beds in hospitals.
Health authorities are identifying those who require self-isolation and working with BC Housing to refer people to hotel rooms or community centres. Some of these facilities are already operational, while the others are expected to be ready in the coming days and weeks. In addition to the more than 900 spaces secured to date, more rooms have been identified in communities throughout the province to be able to expand capacity if a need is identified by health authorities.
Non-profit societies who have significant experience working with vulnerable populations will oversee the day-to-day management of the hotels, motels and community centre spaces. Staff will be on site regularly and will provide daily meals and cleaning services. When required, health-care workers will also provide on-site care to ensure people are getting the medical attention they need.