Government of Canada Announces Funding for New COVID-19 Safe Voluntary Isolation Centre in Ottawa, Ontario

OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 17, 2020 /CNW/ - When experiencing symptoms, 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 Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced $4.7 million over 7 months for Ottawa Public Health to establish a safe, voluntary isolation site. This site will help Canadians in Ottawa who have COVID-19, or have been exposed to it, access accommodations to keep themselves and their community safe.

Voluntary isolation sites reduce the risks of spread of the virus among household contacts, especially in Canada's most densely populated urban centres. 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 Voluntary Self Isolation Site program exists to fill a gap for urban centres and municipalities that are at-risk of high rates of transmission, as evidence indicates that 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 a centralized location where identified individuals can safely self-isolate for the required period. Local public health officials will identify eligible individuals who may be offered the option to transfer to the isolation site on a voluntary basis. For example, if a person is COVID-19 positive and lives in a home where there is no separate room in which they can isolate, they may be considered as a candidate for the voluntary self-isolation site. Individuals from the same household may also be considered if, for example, they cannot maintain a safe distance from a positive case(s).


"As we work together to protect Canadians from COVID-19, we are supporting communities with the Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program, including this new location in Ottawa. These spaces will help lower community spread by supporting safe spaces for Canadians who are not able to safely self-isolate due to housing conditions or financial constraints."

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

"I am encouraged by the news that a safe voluntary isolation site will be established in Ottawa. It will take time before large segments of the population are vaccinated and we must continue to support each other to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community. This site will provide a secure and comfortable space for Ottawa residents who face barriers to safely self-isolate at home."

Dr. Vera Etches
Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health

Quick Facts

  • Ottawa is the third location to receive funding through the Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program, following the funding provided Peel Public Health and Toronto Public Health.
  • The site will have approximately 100 rooms to accommodate individuals in the region who are unable to safely self-isolate at home.
  • Densely-populated neighbourhoods make it difficult for some to safely self-isolate, contributing to a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Regular monitoring and reporting of each safe voluntary isolate 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 optimize effective site operation and the administration of services 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.

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SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

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