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Home Canadian News McMaster opens residence as isolation housing for medical trainees and researchers

McMaster opens residence as isolation housing for medical trainees and researchers

McMaster University is opening its doors to medical residents and researchers working in high-risk environments or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are worried about exposing their families to the virus.

The offer also stands for newly arrived international graduate students, including residents and clinical fellows, looking for a safe place to wait out their 14-day isolation period.

Rooms are now being offered at Les Prince Hall, thanks to a partnership with public health and officials at Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, which will ensure proper cleaning and protection for staff, according to the university.

“Having these spaces available means we can continue to fulfil our health care and training responsibilities as safely as possible while minimizing interruption during this period,” stated Parveen Wasi, associate dean of the post graduate medical education program, in a media release.

“This new alternative takes stress out of an already demanding period for these members of our community,” she added.

The offer has only just gone out, but a university spokesperson said organizers are anticipating up to 100 people may take them up on it.

Typically the rooms would be rented out to conference-goers during the summer months, but the virus means the university can now offer a place to stay, along with contact-less meal delivery, for a nominal rate.

The first phase of the project will run to July 1, but Kevin Beatty, McMaster’s director of housing and conference services, said it may be extended if necessary.

Les Prince Hall includes 249-units and self-contained bathrooms that make them “ideal” for isolation, says the university.

“We want to be as helpful and as responsive as we can,” Beatty explained. “We are in constant contact with our partners to be sure we are making the most of our resources while offering the safest environment possible.”

It’s a plan staff from departments across the university and Hamilton hospitals have spent weeks working on.

Anyone in mandatory quarantine will be required to stay alone in their room for 14 days, notes McMaster, while those who haven’t been exposed will be able to come and go for work.

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