Strain on Toronto hotel that serves as isolation centre comes as 34 homeless shelters in outbreak
by Muriel Draaisma, Kayla Hounsell
As 34 homeless shelters grapple with COVID-19 outbreaks, an isolation centre for unhoused people with the virus is 95 per cent full and that means the facility will accept only complex cases.
City officials have directed shelter staff to develop plans that will enable unhoused people infected with the virus to isolate “in situ,” which means remaining in place at the shelters in which they are staying.
Homeless advocates say people who try to access a bed at the isolation and recovery centre are not having any luck and they are urging the city to enlist outside help, including from the federal government, to manage the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in shelters.
They say the city needs to create space in the isolation centre. And they say they believe the shelter system may be collapsing because of worker burnout, staff shortages and the recent number of deaths in the shelter system.