With the possibility of a second wave of the COVID-19 virus hitting, the City of Williams Lake has approved a plan for housing just in case.
At Tuesday’s city council meeting, a proposal to use the longhouse as COVID housing was approved in principle by council.
Rosanna McGregor, the Cariboo Friendship Society executive director, gave the presentation and said that they have been planning with BC Housing and Interior Health just in case of that second wave.
“We are probably looking at a second wave,” she said. “We can’t just stick our head in the sand and think it’s going to bypass us. We need to prepare, and part of the preparation for that is looking at how we can isolate individuals and stop that spread.”
McGregor said that BC Housing came up with the idea of using pods, that are similar to a field hospital and putting them in the longhouse, which could fit 20 of the pods.
Matthew Camirand, with BC Housing who appeared by phone, said that a longhouse is a great option.
“We like the option,” he said. “It’s a temporary solution. We have no intention of using it beyond getting back to some resemblance of normalcy where the health authority will tell us you can go back to operating capacity in our shelters. This would be a solution to really get us through the winter.”
Camirand explained a possible idea to the council of what the City could use as villas and showers.
“We actually designed a shelter last winter. One of our team came up with this ingenious idea where we took Sea Cans and made them into transportable, self-sustainable villas and showers,” he said. “They have their own electrical panel built into them, and all that they really need is to be dropped off and hooked up to water and power.”
The Sea Cans are built near Chilliwack and take around six weeks to create.