Government of Canada Announces Funding to the County of Essex for Continued Support to the COVID-19 Agri-Worker Isolation and Recovery Centre in Windsor, Ontario

News release

August 22, 2022 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada continues to work with partners across the country to protect the health and safety of Canadians by reducing the spread of COVID-19. Isolation remains one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. However, for some people in Canada, crowded housing conditions and costs can make it unsafe or impossible to isolate, putting themselves, their families, and communities at risk.

Today, Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced $4.2 million for the Corporation of the County of Essex to continue to administer a safe voluntary isolation site for temporary foreign agri-workers in the Windsor-Essex region. These workers tend to live in close accommodations and work in congregate settings, which makes it difficult to isolate, if required. The site was previously operated by the City of Windsor and is now being administered and operated by the County of Essex.

The Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program (SVISP) directly supports cities, municipalities, and health regions across Canada that are at-risk of COVID-19 community transmission. The sites funded through the SVISP provide an accessible location where people can safely isolate for the required period. Access to these sites is completely voluntary and local public health officials determine eligibility and manage all aspects of the sites.


“Protecting communities from COVID-19 and helping to stop its spread continues to be a priority for our government. The operation of this safe voluntary isolation site in Windsor-Essex is essential to help protect temporary foreign workers and the community from the spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“As Essex continues to welcome thousands of incoming agricultural workers in the coming weeks and months, this critical federal funding will provide spaces for those who are unable to isolate safely in the community. Thank you to Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and the federal government for recognizing the unique challenges our community faces and always standing up for Windsor-Essex.”

Irek Kusmierczyk
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
Member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh

“This funding will help ensure the health and wellbeing of the workers so crucial to our local economy and the production of a stable food supply, and it will help to protect the broader community from the spread of COVID-19. The County of Essex thanks the federal government for its support and continued investments in Windsor-Essex.”

Warden Gary McNamara

Quick facts

  • The $4.2 million will allow the County of Essex to operate 50 rooms at one site for temporary foreign agri-workers until March 31, 2023.

  • Through the Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program (SVISP), the Government of Canada has made over $181 million available over three years to keep municipalities and health regions safe and has funded projects in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.

  • SVISP is one of the Government of Canada's rapid response tools established to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and can be deployed to communities facing outbreaks.

  • SVISP has supported over 63 sites in 50 communities since it was established in 2020. To date, over 20,000 people have been supported through one of the federally funded safe voluntary isolation sites across the country.

  • To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are advised to follow local public health measures, practice individual protective measures like wearing a mask in public indoor settings, and to stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms.

Associated links


Marie-France Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

COVID-19 public enquiries: 1-833-784-4397

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