The Yellowknife Community Arena is serving as a temporary day and overnight homeless shelter as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect the vulnerable population.
“There is a significant number of COVID-19 cases within Yellowknife’s underhoused population and staff at the 50th street Day Shelter and Sobering Centre,” a press release reads.
On Sept. 7 Dr. Kami Kandola, the NWT chief public health officer, declared an outbreak within Yellowknife’s underhoused population. On Sept. 11 the 50th St. Day Shelter and Sobering Centre closed due to the outbreak.
The plan to use the city’s arena was established between the Government of the Northwest Territories, the City of Yellowknife and the Red Cross — who will assist with staffing.
The shelter is providing food, washrooms, showers, bedding and cots.
“The opening of this shelter responds to the need for additional capacity to provide increased safety for underhoused people, to minimize any further spread of COVID-19 among that population and act as a contingency should outbreaks occur within other sheltering facilities in Yellowknife,” the release reads.
No end date is provided, but the release says the services will likely decrease when the operations resume at the Day Shelter and Sobering Centre.