Single COVID-19 isolation centre being explored by Island’s leadership co-ordination committee

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MINDEMOYA – In discussing the possibility of setting up a COVID-19 isolation centre in the municipality, using a local motel, members of the Central Manitoulin safety, security and health committee were informed by Mayor Richard Stephens (who is also a member of the Manitoulin COVID-19 Leadership Co-ordination Committee) that the leadership group is looking at one centralized isolation centre for the Island.

“We had this item on our leadership committee agenda today,” said Mayor Richard Stephens on Tuesday. “The thrust of the committee now is to have one isolation centre at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre in Little Current. And the main reason for this is that it would be easy access to the hospital, hospital staff, doctors, if needed. It would put all COVID-19 activities in one area with the hospital (Manitoulin Health Centre), the field hospital (to be located in the NEMI recreation complex) and having the isolation centre.” 

“There will be a meeting of the First Nations and management of the hotel to see if this would be a viable operation. And if everyone is on side with this (municipal and First Nation councils), it is proposed all of this would be an Island-wide shared expense,” said Mayor Stephens. But he cautioned, “we are a long way from having the numbers and commitments that this will go forward.”

“The first step will be to find out if it is doable (for the isolation centre to be located at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre),” said Mayor Stephens. “This has to be approved by the board of the hotel before costs and processes can be determined.”

The isolation centre is to be used for people who have tested positive for COVID-19, or are waiting for test results but are suspected to have the coronavirus and must self-isolate.