Surrey: To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, BC Housing, City of Surrey and Fraser Health have established a temporary Emergency Response Centre at Surrey’s previously decommissioned North Surrey Recreation Centre (NSRC). The NSRC Emergency Response Centre will provide up to 110 safe spaces in the recreation centre, separated amongst the facility’s two rinks.
The Centre will be referral-only which will prioritize the support of people living on the streets, in shelters, or for people coming out of acute care who do not have a safe place to self-isolate if they have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. Referrals will be managed by Fraser Health to ensure those most at risk with the highest care needs are prioritized. This proactive approach will also help reduce capacity in nearby shelters in order to support physical distancing efforts.
BC Housing has appointed Surrey Urban Mission Society (SUMS) to operate and manage the centre, which will be staffed 24/7. Fraser Health staff will be onsite daily, supporting SUMS and providing ongoing health guidance.
BC Housing, with the support of City of Surrey, is continuing to explore opportunities to partner with local hotels to support frontline staff who are unable to go home during the COVID-19 outbreak, or for those who are unable to self-isolate due to living on the streets or in shelters.
Mayor Doug McCallum said: “By utilizing the decommissioned North Surrey Recreation Centre, we are providing our most vulnerable population with the most essential protective measure against COVID-19, which is the ability to physical distance,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We will continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of this virus within our community, and today’s establishment of the NSRC Emergency Response Centre is a crucial shift in our efforts. We thank BC Housing and Fraser Health for their collaboration and contributions in making this vital project possible.”
Fraser Health president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee said: “It’s important for people who are street-entrenched or living in shelters to have a safe place to self-isolate and to physically distance. Combatting COVID-19 requires each person and community to work together and we’re proud to partner with BC Housing and the City of Surrey to ensure this vulnerable population has access to the support and care they need.”