Shomporko Desk:- Toronto’s top public health official is recommending that the city establish a quarantine facility to “help members of the overall population who need to self-isolate but are not able to accomplish that safely.”
The recommendation is contained in a report by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa that will be considered during a virtual meeting of the city’s board of health today.
In the report, de Villa says that the idea behind a centralized quarantine facility would be to provide a safe space where “specific groups of cases and contacts where home isolation or quarantine is likely to be suboptimal” could reside.
“An example of this would be people who live in large, crowded households where adequate space is not available to follow isolation or quarantine guidelines,” she said.
De Villa said that Toronto Public Health has already done “some analysis” of the potential benefits of a central quarantine facility, which has included an examination of efforts undertaken by several American cities.
She said that the City of Chicago has set up an isolation facility in a hotel where COVID-19 patients who “lack an appropriate setting to isolate” can recover, provided that their case is mild and that they do not require medical treatments. She said that officials in New York City, meanwhile, have made 1,200 hotel rooms available to COVID-19 patients who similarly lack the ability to isolate in their own homes with plans to increase that number to 3,000 by the end of the summer.
The motion that will be voted on by the board today would direct staff to engage the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Ontario, and the Ontario Ministry of Health in further discussions regarding the establishment of a central quarantine facility as well as “other methods to achieve effective isolation for individuals who are unable to safely and effectively isolate at home.”
Photo credit: DAVID RIDER / THE TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO
News source: CP24