City Coordinating with Province to Protect Vulnerable Populations During COVID-19 Pandemic

Release date: 
April 1, 2020

The City of Kamloops is collaborating with BC Housing, Interior Health, and various social agencies to provide support during the COVID-19 pandemic for vulnerable populations in our community, including people experiencing homelessness, under-housed people, people with complex care needs, and/or people with mental health and substance use needs.

“We’re focused on the safety and health of all residents of our community,” said Mayor Ken Christian. “We know that this population is particularly vulnerable to infection and may not have the ability to follow best practices for prevention or treatment on their own.”

The Province has identified several possible solutions to address the significant challenges faced by shelter and congregate housing sites to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the community. These solutions include identifying alternative locations for shelter residents that allow for proper physical distancing as well as the isolation of high risk or symptomatic individuals. In addition, the Province has requested support from municipalities for people who choose to reside outdoors by providing access to amenities and relaxing bylaw restrictions on temporary overnight shelters.

In response, the City is reviewing facilities and park spaces that could be used to facilitate these requests and provide safe shelter options.

“This is an unprecedented time in our community, and it’s not business as usual,” said Christian. “Our primary objective at this point is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and minimize its impact on our community.”

To stay up to date on the City’s response to COVID-19, visit Kamloops.ca/COVID.