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, Terry Sheehan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced funding to operate a safe voluntary isolation site in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District, Ontario. These sites help those who have COVID-19, or have been exposed to it, access safe isolation accommodations to keep themselves and their community safe.
“This funding, to operate a voluntary isolation centre in our region, will increase our ability to support residents of Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District when they cannot properly self-isolate at home.” – Terry Sheehan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Voluntary isolation sites reduce the risks of spreading the virus among household contacts in locations where people are faced with crowded housing and resource constraints. These sites are one of the rapid response tools established to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and can be deployed to communities facing outbreaks.
“Self-isolation is an effective means to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and I want to recognize the Government of Canada for helping ensure people in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma who cannot do so at home will have a safe, voluntary option. With the variants of concern spreading throughout the country, it is paramount that everyone follows public health advice and that all levels of government work together to provide people with the resources needed act in accordance with it.” – Christian Provenzano, Mayor of the City of Sault Ste. Marie
The Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program directly supports cities, municipalities, and health regions that are at-risk of COVID-19 community transmission. Sites selected under the Program provide an accessible location where identified individuals can safely self-isolate for the required period. Local public health officials determine eligible individuals who may be offered the option to transfer to the isolation site on a voluntary basis to keep them and their household contacts safe during an outbreak in their community.
“Household transmission is a major driver of COVID-19 spread, especially in housing situations where individuals cannot safely self-isolate from others. The funding provided to develop the Safe Voluntary Isolation Site in our region will greatly increase our ability to support residents of Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District, and reduce transmission of the virus.” – Mike Nadeau, CEO of the District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board
“The funding and operation of the Safe Voluntary Isolation Site Program, here in Algoma, is a great example of how local partners can be empowered and resourced to support the families and households in our communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.” – Dr. Jennifer Loo, Algoma Medical Officer of Health