Evergreen Hall in Chilliwack was established an isolation facility last spring and closed in June. It reopened recently for vulnerable populations to self-isolate. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Evergreen Hall in Chilliwack was established an isolation facility last spring and closed in June. It reopened recently for vulnerable populations to self-isolate. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Isolation site reopened in Chilliwack to help prevent spread of COVID-19

BC Housing and Fraser Health closed the space in June but reopened it recently after local outbreak

A community self-isolation site reopened inside Evergreen Hall recently to help quell the spread of COVID-19 in Chilliwack.

BC Housing, working with Fraser Health, established a range of isolation sites across the region for homeless and those at risk of homelessness to self-isolate and recover. The spaces included rented hotel rooms, as well as converted community and civic spaces like Evergreen Hall, near downtown Chilliwack.

“The Evergreen Hall community isolation space initially closed on June 8, 2020, because the space was not being fully utilized,” said Henry Glazebrook, spokesperson for BC Housing, in response to emailed queries.

COVID-19 case numbers were on the rise locally around Christmas, with an outbreak that spread among the homeless population staying at local shelters.

The Evergreen Hall site re-opened on Jan. 18, to address “an increased demand for isolation space” and to help physically spread out shelter residents who were recovering without hospitalization.

RELATED: Downtown shelter deals with dozens of cases

“Community isolation sites are critical to support our healthcare and emergency response workers, as well as people who are vulnerable, such as those who are experiencing homelessness,” Glazebrook added.

The space is operated by Ruth and Naomi’s Mission, with 25 beds which are referral-only through Fraser Health.

“We understand this is an unprecedented use of a community centre, but this initiative is part of our collective efforts to try to prevent the spread of the virus and mitigate the demand on our healthcare system,” the rep for BC Housing said

An outbreak in COVID-19 infections was officially declared at the Portal shelter run by RAN in early January 2021. At one point 27 residents had tested positive, and 12 staff. Some who tested positive were put up in local hotel rooms to recover, like the individuals staying in shelters before Christmas.

“Other spaces are for patients being discharged from hospitals who do not have COVID-19 and who do not need emergency care, but still require ongoing health care – freeing up much needed beds in hospitals.”

The isolation site inside Evergreen Hall first opened last spring, with the collaboration of RAN, City of Chilliwack, Fraser Health, BC Housing, MCFD, as well as Salvation Army, Cyrus Centre and more. It was seen as a testament to how quickly Chilliwack came together as a community when it became one of only five such isolation facilities in B.C. at the time.

Those in isolation in COVID recovery can’t come and go as they please. There is staff on-site 24/7, as well as security personnel. Sections are “polyed” off with plastic material for testing, for sleeping, for showers and changing and more.

RELATED: Site ran smoothly by shelter operator

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

City of ChilliwackCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canadian Reformed Church in Chilliwack. (GoogleMaps)
OPINION: Churches that defy the law and public health orders are in the extreme minority

The nature of news coverage means that aberrations from the norm are what make the headlines

Projects recently approved by council will tackle homelessness in Chilliwack. (Black Press file photo)
Latest projects taking on homelessness in Chilliwack focused on pandemic pivoting

4 key service providers will share a blended fund of almost $160,000 in Reaching Home funding

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

These free, postage-paid postcards were sent to 13.5 million households across Canada. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)
OPINION: Singing the praises of these postcards of positivity

I typed this ode to the loveliness of hand-written notes on a computer but the point still stands

Snow is still coming down in Hemlock Valley. (Emil Anderson Maintenance/Twitter)
VIDEO: Spring is coming, but snow sticking around in Hemlock Valley

If you’re up the mountain, don’t put away your toques just yet

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

The driver of a pickup truck failed to stop after knocking down a wooden fence on March 3, 2021. (screen grab)
VIDEO: Footage catches pick-up driver smash fence on Abbotsford/Langley border

Driver came forward after video circulated on social media

Lower Mainland teens with Ocean Wise’s YouthToSea program have launched an initiative called Clean Coastal, Eat Local, through which they’re offering restaurant gift cards to individuals or households that organize a coastal cleanup in the month of March. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise)
Teens challenge Lower Mainlanders to clean up their act

YouthToSea offers restaurant gift cards in exchange for a cleaner coastline

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Most Read