Tents stretch for blocks on Pandora Street in downtown Victoria March 26, with handouts of food, clothing and needles continuing outside a drop-in centre that has been forced to close due to COVID-19 rules. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

The B.C. government says it has identified more than 900 spaces for people living on the street or in communal shelters who need to self-isolate due to exposure or symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Spaces have been secured at 23 sites including hotels, motels and community centres around B.C., the ministry of municipal affairs and housing announced April 7.

The assistance comes as Victoria and other communities struggle with the seasonal appearance of tent campers, made more pressing as drop-in centres and shelters are restricted or closed due to physical distancing orders from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The provincial effort comes as some hotel owners who have lost bookings have begun donating rooms for people who need to self-isolate, and for health care workers who are concerned about picking up the coronavirus and infecting family members.

RELATED: Hotels donate rooms for people who need to self-isolate

RELATED: B.C. clears more hospital beds as COVID-19 growth slows

Some hotels are reserved 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,” the ministry said in a statement.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have directed B.C. hospitals to clear more than 4,000 acute-care beds, 40 per cent of total capacity, to brace for an expected peak in critical cases.

By region, there are four sites with 179 spaces in Fraser Health, including one site in Hope and three in Surrey, including 110 beds at the North Surrey Recreation Centre.

In the Interior Health region, there is one site with 20 spaces in Kelowna, two with 38 spaces in Nelson, two sites with 19 spaces in Penticton, two with 84 spaces in Vernon including the curling club, and two sites in Kamloops with 50 spaces.

Vancouver Island has two sites in Victoria with 160 spaces. Northern Health has one site in Prince George with seven spaces.

Vancouver Coastal has six sites with 367 spaces, including a site in Squamish with 15 spaces.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii couple frustrated after Air Canada cancels flight, denies compensation

Mike Racz says another passenger received $1,000 while he was only offered an ecoupon and promo code

Haida Gwaii teachers heading back to empty classrooms on June 1

SD50 working with CHN following May 21 request to keep school closed until state of emergency lifted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

VIDEO: Green Coast offers free kayaking to Haida Gwaii residents

First “pop-up paddle” held Monday, May 25; free community paddles expected to continue weekly

DFO allowing at-sea observers again if safe work procedures in place

May 15 fishery notice lays out conditions for allowing at-sea observers onboard amid COVID-19

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Most Read