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

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

North Island mayors say their voices should be heard by DFO before final decisions are made about fish farms. (Black Press file photo)
Mayors asking to be let in on fish farm consultations

DFO evaluating 18 Discovery Island fish farms and transitioning from open-net farms

“Scirocco” the unicorn, built collaboratively by CAP, Apex, Equinox, Gathering Place and Nexus program students under the guidance of artist Alex Witcombe of Drifted Creations, in its home in the middle of Robron Centre’s courtyard. SD72 photo
Building community at Campbell River’s Robron Centre one piece of driftwood at a time

Passing by the courtyard at Robron Centre one can’t help but stop… Continue reading

Windy conditions in Campbell River Nov. 27 made for some picturesque wave action at Ken Forde Park. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Campbell River region wakes up to windy day

The Campbell River area woke up to blustery conditions on Friday, Nov.… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Freighter anchored off Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
MP to host expert panel for virtual town hall on freighter anchorages issue

Residents can participate through MacGregor’s website or Facebook page Dec. 3

Most Read