The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of people in Canada and to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. Self-isolation remains one of the most effective ways to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. However, for some people in Canada, crowded housing conditions and costs can make it unsafe or impossible to self-isolate, putting themselves, their families, and communities at risk.
Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced an additional $4.8 million to the City of Windsor to operate two Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites for temporary foreign agri-workers in Windsor-Essex, due to a surge in demand in the region already this year. These workers tend to live in close accommodations and work in congregate settings, which makes it difficult to self-isolate if required.
The Safe Voluntary Isolation Site Program (SVISP) directly supports cities, municipalities, and health regions across Canada that are at-risk of COVID-19 community transmission. Sites selected under the Program provide an accessible location where people can safely self-isolate for the required period. Access to these sites is completely voluntary and local public health officials determine eligibility and manage all aspects of the sites.
“Protecting agri-workers, especially those who are supporting Canada’s food chain and economy, is a priority for our government. The additional funding to support the operation of these safe isolation sites in Windsor-Essex will continue to help protect temporary foreign workers and the community from the spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
- The additional $4.8 million will allow the City of Windsor to operate approximately 400 rooms across two sites to accommodate temporary foreign agri-workers in Windsor and Essex County.
- Government of Canada funding will allow the operations of the Windsor and Essex County sites to continue until June 30, 2022.
- Through the Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program (SVISP), the Government of Canada has made over $181 million available over three years to municipalities and health regions and has established projects in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Yukon.
- SVISP is one of the Government of Canada’s rapid response tools established to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and can be deployed to communities facing outbreaks.
- SVISP has supported over 60 sites in 47 communities since it was established in 2020.
- To date, over 17,000 people have been supported through one of the federally funded safe voluntary isolations sites across the country.
- The sharing of best practices is encouraged among funded communities to improve how the sites operate and how services are delivered to the people who access them.
- To prevent the spread of COVID-19, all 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.