To support local doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare professionals working on the frontlines, Wilfrid Laurier University is providing temporary housing for healthcare professionals choosing to live away from their families and loved ones during COVID-19 as part of an agreement with Grand River Hospital. About 150 apartment-style residence beds were made available starting early May.
Working in partnership with Cambridge Memorial Hospital, St. Mary’s General Hospital, Guelph General Hospital, Wellington Healthcare Alliance and St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph, Grand River Hospital worked to investigate the use of temporary spaces to create capacity in hospitals should additional space be needed, as well as to secure alternate accommodations for frontline staff.
The partnership with Laurier includes the university offering up to 300 spaces should the health system require overflow space.
– Ron Gagnon, president and CEO of Grand River Hospital
“This situation has brought our hospitals and community partners together in ways that we never anticipated,” said Ron Gagnon, president and CEO of Grand River Hospital. “We continue to be humbled by the response of so many in the community who are leaning in to support the regional health system and enabling us to manage a potential surge in need.”
All of Laurier’s residence buildings will be unoccupied, as students in residence have moved out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Arrangements were made for off-campus housing for remaining students unable to return home.
“Supporting our communities any way we can remains a top priority for Laurier,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor. “Providing additional housing options for public health workers is something the Laurier community is ready, able and proud to do during this global health crisis.”