Ontario adds beds to isolation centres

Premier Doug Ford during a Sept. 24 media conference. YouTube

OSHAWA — The provincial government announced last week that new isolation centres will be opening in Oshawa and Brampton, and two of the centres in Toronto will be expanding to accommodate more beds.

In the coming weeks, Ontario will help create up to 1,525 additional beds for safe isolation with 125 beds in Durham, up to 840 beds in Peel, up to 280 beds in Toronto, and up to 280 beds in York. The new centres are expected to open by the end of January. 

COVID-19 Isolation Centres are intended to provide those who can’t isolate safely a comfortable place to stay. Each centre offers a range of services, including meals, security, transportation, free Wi-Fi, and links to health and social services.

For a time, Eastern Ontario had the province’s first example of an isolation centre when Cornwall’s Nav Centre hosted Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers upon their return to Canada last February.

“We know that some communities have been more affected by COVID-19 than others, and many people face barriers to finding a safe place to self-isolate in order to keep their families and communities safe,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Isolation centres will provide these people with the supports they need while they are self-isolating.”

“Our government is taking action to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our most vulnerable communities,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “We continue to work with Ontario Health, public health units, municipalities, and our community partners to deliver targeted and key interventions that our province’s hardest-hit neighbourhoods need.”

Additionally, 30 testing sites have been opened and thousands of PPE kits have been shipped to community partners. Municipalities will also work with public health officials and community health agencies to connect those affected by COVID-19 with isolation centres.

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