Edmonton Expo Centre opens as temporary coronavirus isolation shelter

Mar 24 2020, 10:28 am

The Edmonton Expo Centre opened Monday evening as a temporary isolation shelter for Edmontonians experiencing homelessness.

According to the city, the centre will operate as a temporary facility to offer a safe space for those in need of a place for physical distancing and self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The space serves two purposes at this time, with the facility being split into two portions.

From 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week, one portion of the facility will provide day drop-in service for those without access to housing, with a large enough space to allow for social distancing.

“This additional space at the Edmonton EXPO Centre helps provide overflow support for facilities that have had to limit their capacity, change hours of operation, or close entirely,” said a release from the city.

“Homeward Trust is working with the Bissell Centre, Boyle Street Community Services, and several other organizations to operate the drop-in.”

The other portion of the facility will operate as a 24/7 isolation shelter for those experiencing homelessness who have been exposed to coronavirus, or who have symptoms, to recover and protect others by self-isolating.

“The Boyle McCauley Health Centre is taking the lead on the site with regards to primary medical care. Alberta Health Services will supplement this support with any additional health services including home care, public health, addiction and mental health, infection control and environmental public health support for the site and temporary residents,” said the release.

The city says the Expo Centre is not currently operating as an overnight shelter for individuals who do not require health services related to coronavirus, and overnight shelters in the city will continue to operate and accept those individuals who are not showing symptoms and do not require isolation.
The city also says the facility is focused on those experiencing homelessness, and is not open to the general public for programming, events, or for the general public to access medical care or coronavirus testing.

The temporary facility has been put in place by the City of Edmonton, Community, and Social Services; Alberta Health Services; Homeward Trust; and other community partners, including shelters around the city.

More information about the Expo Centre isolation shelter can be found here.

Keep up with COVID-19 news here.