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Manitoba turns shipping containers into nursing home visitation rooms

Last Updated Sep 15, 2020 at 3:20 pm MDT

Actionmarguerite CEO Charles Gagne, left to right, Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen, PCL Winnipeg district manager Monique Buckberger and Manitoba Central Services Minister Reg Helwer attend the unveiling of personal care home all-season visitation shelters, repurposed from shipping containers, in Winnipeg, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is having shipping containers repurposed to serve as outdoor visitation rooms at personal care homes across the province.

The containers are being fitted with electrical, heating and cooling systems so residents have a safe space during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet with family members, even in the depths of winter.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen says about 90 containers will be delivered by late fall, and each will be connected to a care home with separate entrances for residents and visiting loved ones.

Friesen says PCL Constructors Canada Inc. was awarded the contract and came up with a design that includes a finished interior inside the containers.

He says the system is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada and other jurisdictions are looking at the idea.

The province is reporting 17 new COVID-19 cases, and has a total active case count of 269.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 15, 2020.

The Canadian Press