Williams Lake City Council has authorized the purchase of four iPads for critically ill COVID-19 patients at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

The recommendation was ratified at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

“They have been purchased and we’ve lent them to the hospital,” said Chief Administrative Officer, Milo MacDonald. “My understanding is they have not yet been used but they are available to be used when they’re required.”

The four Ipads each cost an estimated $549, excluding taxes.

Councillor Marnie Brenner said she believes it is a great initiative.

“I know at our sites at Cariboo Place we are using tablets for Skype and to get our residents to be able to communicate with their loved ones,” she said. “It’s really important, it’s something that you don’t realize people need that social contact until it’s missing.”

In the aftermath of the crisis, MacDonald said the 7th generation iPads will be returned to the City to support continuing operations.

“Council had an informal discussion a couple of weeks ago with regards to a number of requests that were emerging typically outside of our box where the Emergency Operations Centre was not able to or didn’t have it in their budget to fund,” Councillor Scott Nelson said.

“We felt that with the technology and people being isolated, there was an opportunity for us to purchase four iPads, put them into the COVID unit at Cariboo Memorial, and people that are isolated have the opportunity to be able to communicate with their loved ones, family, or their friends…”