COVID-19 self-isolation centre coming to Ottawa

·2 min read

Ottawa residents who contract COVID-19 and fear infecting their families will now have the option to self-isolate at a local hotel, thanks to a multi-million dollar grant from the federal government.

The $4.7-million grant was announced Thursday morning as the city reported another 52 cases of COVID-19. The location of the hotel, where 107 rooms will be set aside starting Dec. 21, has not been disclosed.

This really is able to give people the peace of mind that they're protecting their household members. - Dr. Vera Etches

"It's an opportunity for individuals to rest and recover without the fear or the anxiety of transmitting the virus to their loved ones, their roommates, the others they live with," said Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa's medical officer of health.

"It's really about people who otherwise would be fine at home, but potentially not able to limit COVID transmission in the home because of the number of people in home, the size of their home," Etches said. "This really is able to give people the peace of mind that they're protecting their household members."

Welcome news

Naini Cloutier, executive director of the Somerset West Community Health Centre, welcomed the announcement.

"The anxiety and fear for families that are living in crowded conditions would be alleviated," Cloutier said, adding she hopes the self-isolation centre will benefit the city's hard-hit diverse and immigrant communities, many of whose members work in the health-care and service industries.

"Yet they are going back into their houses where there is a lack of adequate space, [where] multi-generational families are living in crowded conditions," Cloutier said.


3rd centre in Ontario

Ottawa's will be the third federally funded self-isolation centre in Ontario, after Toronto and Peel Region.

Ottawa Public Health will decide who's eligible to stay there, with priority given to those diagnosed with COVID-19. Health-care workers and international travellers needing to quarantine will also be considered, said Etches.

Transportation to and from the centre will be provided, as will meals throughout the stay. Some rooms may be able to accommodate couples.

The federal funding is expected to last until the end of June, and may be extended.