Kitchener-Waterloo

Waterloo region COVID-19 isolation centre receives $4.1M from federal government

The federal government has committed $4.1 million to maintain a safe, voluntary isolation centre in Waterloo region for 15 months. The centre provides a place for people to stay when they can’t isolate at home because of crowded housing conditions.

Site for people to stay when they can’t isolate at home because of crowded housing conditions

Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger made the funding announcement Monday. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The federal government has committed $4.1 million to maintain a safe, voluntary isolation centre in Waterloo region for 15 months.

Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger made the announcement Monday during a news conference held online.

The safe isolation site provides a place for people to stay when they can't isolate at home because of crowded housing conditions, Chagger said.

It is located in a hotel that has not been named to protect the privacy of those staying there, medical officer of health Dr. Hsui-Li Wang told reporters.

People are referred to the facility through Waterloo Region Public Health and Emergency Services's case and contact management process, Wang said.

The region had reached out to the federal government last fall to ask for help opening the facility after learning it had funded the safe isolation site that opened in Toronto in September, Waterloo regional Chair Karen Redman said.

They met with federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu in mid-November.

The Region of Waterloo approved an interim plan to fund the site independently before federal funding was confirmed, Redman said. That allowed it to open on Dec. 10.  

It has so far provided temporary residence to 17 people, she said, but the federal funding will allow the region to greatly expand the service from seven rooms to 54 rooms, serving many more people.

Residents may receive referrals to Carizon Family and Community Services, which offers family counselling, youth mental health and engagement programs, settlement support and credit counselling. 

They will also have access to a family resource co-ordinator to help navigate community services, she said. 

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