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Feds announce funding for COVID-19 safe isolation program

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 @ 7:38 AM | By Ian Burns

Ottawa is investing $23.7 million in an Ontario program that helps people who have COVID-19, or have been exposed to it, access isolation accommodations to keep themselves and their community safe.

The funding, which Health Minister Patty Hajdu unveiled March 23, will allow Ontario to operate a number of voluntary isolation sites in various communities identified under the province’s high priority community strategy. The safe voluntary isolation sites program exists to fill a gap for cities, municipalities and health regions that are at risk of high rates of COVID-19 transmission. Sites selected under the program provide an accessible location where identified individuals can safely self-isolate for the required period.

“The program will support communities across Ontario, providing direct assistance to those who are unable to safely self-isolate at home,” said Hajdu. “As we work with the province and directly with communities to stop the spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern, we need to make sure that Canadians have tools available to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

There are currently 374 rooms for residents funded in the province under the program. This latest injection of funds will allow for an additional 1,600 rooms to be created bringing the total to approximately 1,975 rooms in the province. Evidence has shown that individuals from lower income and densely populated neighbourhoods are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including its most severe outcomes.

Local public health officials will help determine eligible individuals who may be offered the option to transfer to the isolation site on a voluntary basis to keep them and their household contacts safe during an outbreak in their community.

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