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

When crisis hits: How West Shore RCMP have dealt with the pandemic

More front-line officers on road in mobile offices

Sidney staff recommends additional outdoor seating for restaurants and cafes

Report before council also leaves open possibility of closing a portion of Beacon Avenue

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

‘Depression-era’ unemployment figures could hit Greater Victoria

South Island Prosperity Project launches new dashboard to measure effects of COVID-19

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read