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Vancouver reopens 3 ‘vital’ Downtown Eastside community centres amid COVID-19

The Carnegie Centre is in the heart of the DTES.
The Carnegie Centre is in the heart of the DTES. Google Maps

The City of Vancouver has reopened three “vital” community facilities in the Downtown Eastside relied upon heavily by the neighbourhood’s homeless population.

The Carnegie Community Centre, Gathering Place Community Centre and Evelyne Saller Community Centre were closed to indoor access earlier this spring due to COVID-19.

Read more: ‘Assume it’s here’: Advocates urge action as COVID-19 reported in Downtown Eastside

The city says all three reopened Wednesday with limited drop-in space and increased access to washrooms.

City of Vancouver unveils measures to protect vulnerable DTES residents
City of Vancouver unveils measures to protect vulnerable DTES residents

The facilities continued to offer limited “basic needs” support such as shower and laundry services, along with outdoor seating and meal distribution during the pandemic, according to the city.

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Read more: Concern for Downtown Eastside after U.S. tests find asymptomatic COVID-19 outbreaks among homeless

Both the Carnegie and Gathering Place centres will operate from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., while the Evelyine Saller centre will operate form 9:15 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The city says public health officials have inspected all three facilities and approved as meeting or exceeding necessary standards.

It says it hopes to expand services at the centres in the coming months.