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Province spent $150,000 to house Albertans who couldn’t self-isolate at home

File: Photo of a guest room in a hotel.
File: Photo of a guest room in a hotel. Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The province has spent approximately $150,000 to house and feed Albertans who can’t self-isolate at home or with family and friends.

Information provided to Global News by Alberta Health reveals, for the first time, the financial lengths the province has gone to provide hotel and motel accommodations for COVID-19 positive Albertans who can’t safely self-isolate.

These accommodations are separate from housing for the homeless, which is overseen by Community and Social Services.

READ MORE: Children’s services minister says Alberta working to use more hotels as COVID-19 isolation centres

According to spokesperson Tom McMillan, there were four Albertans isolating in commercial accommodations across the province earlier this month.

In total, the province has paid for 78 hotel rooms to support 95 individuals.

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In April, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said this model was being used for patients in the High River area, who were not able to safely isolate from the rest of the household.

Albertans first undergo an AHS screening and referral process to see if they require isolation assistance and qualify for the accommodations.

According to Alberta Health, Albertans using the commercial accommodation sites are supported by their family physician and/or a primary care team and are provided food at the hotel or motel.

“People isolating or quarantining in a hotel are not allowed to leave their hotel room during their isolation or quarantine, and no one is permitted to enter the room during this period,” McMillan said.

Rooms are booked on an as-needed basis, with McMillan adding there are currently 11 hotels in the province approved to provide the service.

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The largest number of rooms were used in May, when between 15 and 20 rooms per week were used, according to McMillan.

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In July and August, demand varied between one and five rooms per week, he said.