Kelowna is home to one of only 11 federal COVID-19 quarantine sites | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna is home to one of only 11 federal COVID-19 quarantine sites

In this file photo, a health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
November 18, 2020 - 6:30 AM

It doesn’t appear to be the busiest, but Kelowna is one of the few places in Canada where travellers can self-isolate with the assistance of the federal government if they have no quarantine plan in place when they arrive.

Since March, the federal government, under the Quarantine Act, has required travellers to self-isolate for 14 days. Most have places they can stay but some are put up in quarantine sites.

Unfortunately, the quarantine sites have been misconstrued, largely among COVID deniers who call them concentration camps. When we asked about the camps — and the perception — we were referred to the following tweet by Health Canada.

“Federally designated quarantine sites, typically hotel rooms, are not internment camps. Misinformation is circulating that Canada is using concentration camps for #COVID19 quarantine. This is completely false.”

There are 11 quarantine sites across Canada, including Kelowna.

As of Nov. 11, there have been 4,110 people who have resorted to staying in these sites, which are mostly hotel rooms. Only three have been in Kelowna. As of Nov. 11, there were 67 beds actively being used in Canada. The email doesn't say if any of those were in Kelowna.

“In order to protect the privacy and safety of travellers, locations of designated quarantine sites are not made public,” the email states.

The other cities with quarantine sites are Whitehorse, Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Fredericton, Halifax and St. John's.

The government is currently looking at possibly expanding the number of quarantine sites.

“Alternative options and locations are being explored to remain flexible in adjusting to quarantine needs going forward,” the email said but would not comment on the suggestion that one of those may be Osoyoos.

“Cities close to high volume ports of entry, including those with airports currently closed to international arrivals or accessible to international passengers via a connecting flight may be considered for a future quarantine site,” the email states.

The government is looking for contractors to manage the services.

“Transportation to the quarantine site, lodging, meals/incidentals, as well as security and cleaning personnel are standard services for all designated quarantine facilities and are contracted to organizations that offer the required expertise,” one of the emails states.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.


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