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Kenora arena to serve as COVID-19 centre for homeless

Facility will serve those awaiting results or those who test positive with very mild symptoms

KENORA, Ont.  – Kenora’s Keewatin Memorial Arena has been retooled to serve as a makeshift COVID-19 isolation centre for the homeless. The facility is open to individuals who have been tested as they await results, as well as those who test positive but remain asymptomatic or experience only very mild symptoms.

The isolation centre is operated by All Nations Health Partners, a coalition of municipal, Indigenous, and health organizations in the region. That include the City of Kenora, Grand Council Treaty 3, the Northwestern Health Unit, Lake of the Woods District Hospital, the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre, Kenora Chiefs Advisory, and more.

The group hopes the isolation centre will help to prevent, or at least slow, the transmission of the virus among the region’s homeless population. Patients will be referred by local health and social service agencies.

The group says the renovations to the arena are temporary and the venue will be restored “once the COVID-19 pandemic response is completed.”

The Northwestern Health Unit has reported two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kenora, both of which have been resolved. A total of 438 tests have been performed in the Kenora area as of May 1, with 341 returned negative, and 95 still pending.


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