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Manitoba to Retrofit Shipping Containers for PCH Visitation

September 15, 2020 4:54 PM | News

Shipping Container - PCH

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 province is spending $17.9 million on all-season visitation shelters at personal care homes amid COVID-19.

Single-use shipping containers are being repurposed and retrofitted to act as a visiting facility between residents and their loved ones.

The Manitoba government has awarded a construction tender to PCL Constructors Canada Inc. for the development and construction of 90 shelters.

“While we acted quickly to restore visits in the spring, it was clear that a more comprehensive strategy would be necessary to facilitate visits with the approaching influenza season and the potential for of a second wave of COVID-19,” said Health Minister Cameron Friesen on Tuesday.


The province says visitors will enter the visiting room from the outside of the personal care home, while an enclosed link will ensure residents have direct access from the personal care home. Electrical and mechanical systems have been designed to ensure each shelter is functional all year round.

Systems will also be in place to provide required air changes and interior finishes will allow easy cleaning between visits. Each 40-foot-long visitation pod will include heating, air conditioning, special UV germicidal light and room for up to five visitors per resident.

“While there was no choice but to close PCHs at the start of the pandemic, every effort is being made to maintain access between residents and loved ones,” said Friesen. “These all-season shelters will ensure these much-needed visits can continue uninterrupted, while keeping PCH residents and visitors safe.”

The shelters, which are expected to be operational by November, will be constructed at PCL’s lot on Gamble Place in Winnipeg before being transported to personal care homes across the province.