Government of Canada Announces Funding for New COVID-19 Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites in Saskatchewan
April 16, 2021 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada
The Government of Canada is working with all partners to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the variants of concern in Canada. Self-isolation is one of the most effective ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19. However, for some Canadians, crowded housing conditions and restrictive costs can make it unsafe or impossible to self-isolate, increasing the risk of community transmission.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced funding for the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency to operate a number of safe, voluntary isolation sites across Saskatchewan.
Voluntary isolation sites reduce the risks of spreading the virus among household contacts, both in Canada’s densely populated urban centres and in locations where people are faced with crowded housing and resources constraints. These sites are one of the rapid response tools we have to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and they can be deployed to communities facing outbreaks.
The Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites program directly supports cities, municipalities and health regions that are at-risk for high community spread of COVID-19. We know individuals from lower income and densely populated neighbourhoods are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including its most severe outcomes.
Sites selected under the Program provide an accessible location where identified individuals can safely self-isolate for the required period. The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency will work with local public health officials to offer eligible individuals the option to transfer to the isolation site on a voluntary basis in order to keep them and their household contacts safe during an outbreak in their community.
“Ensuring that everyone is healthy is the best way to protect all of us. These safe, voluntary isolation sites in Saskatchewan will provide a place people can isolate if they are not able to safely do that at home. This funding will support another important tool for our health leaders to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
“As we work together to protect Canadians from COVID-19, we are supporting communities who are at-risk of high rates of COVID-19 transmission with the Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program. These new sites across Saskatchewan will help lower community spread by supporting safe spaces for Canadians.”
The Honourable Jim Carr
Special Representative for the Prairies
“More isolation options in Saskatchewan will enable residents at risk to better protect themselves. The new Voluntary Self Isolation Support Program is another tool for the province, community leaders and individuals to stop community spread of COVID-19.”
President, Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency
Information about the Voluntary Self Isolation Support Program in Saskatchewan can be found at saskatchewan.ca/covid-19.
The sites will have up to 300 spaces to accommodate identified individuals in Saskatchewan who are unable to self-isolate safely at home.
Isolation is possible in either hotel settings or, where numbers warrant and communities request, through alternative options.
This funding of $11.6 million will help residents access safe isolation accommodations to keep themselves and their community safe from COVID-19.
To date, the program has provided $84.1 million in funding to support projects in Ontario and Saskatchewan, which totals approximately 2150 rooms in Ontario and 300 spaces in Saskatchewan.
Crowded housing conditions make it difficult for some to self-isolate safely, contributing to a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
Regular monitoring and reporting of each safe voluntary isolation site will be conducted in coordination with local public health officials.
The sharing of best practices will be encouraged among the selected isolation sites to improve how the sites operate and how services are delivered to Canadians who access the sites.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are advised to follow local public health measures, avoid places that do not have controls in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms.
Residents can call 1-833-551-5501 to find out how they can access this support.
Residents who need to self-isolate can access this program if they are either:
- Exposed to COVID-19;
- Diagnosed with COVID-19;
- Over the age of 40; or
- Have a health condition as identified by the Public Health Agency of Canada as increasing risks when infected with COVID-19.
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
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