McMaster University to make residence rooms available for front-line healthcare workers fighting COVID-19

A residence room with a single bed and bookcase

McMaster University is making residence rooms and meals available, at cost, to Hamilton healthcare workers who are seeking a safe, affordable place to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university is making private accommodations in residence available for single-person stays between three and 14 days. The program launches Jan. 20.

The Thrive Group, a community-based non-profit, charitable organization is providing the staff required to facilitate connection to the residence spaces.

The program is similar to one the university first offered in the spring of 2020 and is open to front-line workers who are directly involved in providing healthcare to those with or at risk of acquiring COVID-19.

“This is an important part of McMaster’s commitment to the community,” says Kevin Beatty, the university’s director of Housing and Conference Services. “We appreciate the critical work that healthcare workers are doing on behalf of everyone, and we are honored to play this role in Hamilton’s pandemic effort.”

The new program is coming online as the need for respite and isolation rises again and some healthcare workers are looking for places to stay without putting family members at risk of exposure.

“Our front-line heroes will appreciate knowing this opportunity is available,” says Thrive Group’s vice-president business strategy, Vickie Baird. “The last thing they should have to worry about is finding a safe, affordable, alternative place to stay, if they believe staying at home puts those they live with at risk.”

Those who are working in high-risk environments, but are currently COVID free, will be able to come and go for work while staying in a residence room.  Anyone residing on campus who subsequently contracts COVID will be able to carry out their mandatory isolation period in another designated area of the residence. The two groups will be separated within the residence according to public-health protocols. The program will open with 20 rooms being made available. More rooms will be opened up if required.

The residence spaces are available because McMaster is holding its classes online for the winter term, and only a small number of international students are staying in other residence buildings.

Health and service workers who are interested in arranging accommodations are invited to contact the Thrive Group by calling 289-309-8477 ext. 560 Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.