(Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps/City of Victoria - Facebook)

More motels have been secured by the City of Victoria to house some of the homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total secured spaces to 115.

In her daily update on Tuesday, March 31st, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the city has been able to secure an additional 40 motel rooms for homeless people in partnership with BC Housing and Dandelion Society.

These 40 rooms, in additional to the 75 secured over the past week, means the city now has 115 motel rooms to house vulnerable populations.

In Monday’s update, Helps clarified that these rooms are meant for people who have not displayed any symptoms of COVID-19, and one person will occupy each room.

The rooms will be available to vulnerable people living outside in order to make sure they can meet physical distancing protocols put in place by the provincial health officer.

The new locations will be administered by BC Housing and social service providers will be identifying people in the community who would be suitable to move in.

Temporary outdoor homeless shelters at Royal Athletic Park and Topaz Park are currently being set up as temporary stopgap measures before authorities are able to find suitable indoor shelter spaces.

“The current situation on Pandora Avenue does not enable people to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s orders,” said Mayor Helps.

“As we said last week, the temporary park sites were chosen due to their proximity to washrooms, appropriate space for social distancing, and because some people were already sheltering there.”

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

As of the time of publication, there are 1,013 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. including 67 on Vancouver Island.

In good news, a total of 507 people have now recovered from novel coronavirus in B.C. This represents an approximate 50% recovery rate.

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19  line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 855,139.

Over 42,000 people have died from the illness and 176,908 have made a full recovery.


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