YELLOWKNIFE (April 1, 2021) –Today the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority announced plans to close the Aspen isolation centre and transition to hotel-based isolation centres in Yellowknife. There are no individuals currently in residence at Aspen.
Aspen opened in March, 2020, as an additional support for individuals who were homeless. It was developed quickly as a safe space to protect individuals who were awaiting COVID-19 test results or required isolation because of a positive test. These efforts would in turn to protect all residents from spread of COVID-19.
Usage at Aspen has been intermittent. In March three clients stayed at Aspen, in February nine clients, and in January three again. It was determined that the best use of resources would be to provide isolation supports to homeless individuals through the isolation centres provided at hotels in Yellowknife.
In almost all cases, individuals who are referred to medically-advised isolation and who would have accessed Aspen are given a rapid test; this means that in most cases they stay only one night or are free to go the same day with a negative result.
Aspen staff will help ensure a smooth transition so that clients have the supports they need to successfully isolate at the isolation centres. The referral process for accessing Aspen for providers and clients will not change immediately.
“Continued supports for homeless individuals are important and we will continue to support these individuals in their isolation needs. Aspen served its purpose well; however transitioning to support through the isolation centres will allow for the best use of health and social services system resources and reduce duplication of services and effort.”
- Sue Cullen, Chief Executive Officer, Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority
Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority
TEL: 867-767-9107 ext. 40150