Trent University is working collaboratively with Peterborough Regional Health Centre to provide temporary housing options for healthcare workers within the Gzowski College residence on the East Bank of Trent University’s Symons Campus.
“Trent has been looking for ways to support the community as we navigate our way through the current crisis,” states Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “After our donation of personal protective equipment to the hospital last week, we are pleased to be able to provide housing for those working on the front lines of healthcare in Peterborough.”
“Peterborough Regional Health Centre and Trent University have a long-standing partnership between our organizations,” said Brenda Weir, vice president of medicine and regional programs at PRHC. “We are pleased to continue working with them through the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure our healthcare professionals and staff have access to the important resources they need as they work around the clock to provide care and support for patients. We are grateful to Trent University and to the many other community organizations that have come forward to offer their support in these unprecedented times.”
Trent University was approached by PRHC early last week about the possibility of using residences to temporarily house hospital staff who choose to self-isolate from their families while caring for patients.
Gzowski College is currently unoccupied, as Trent is operating with a reduced campus presence. After students depart, these rooms would typically by occupied in the spring and summer for conferences and weddings. However, due to the pandemic, all such events have been cancelled and the residences are empty. Beginning as early as Tuesday, March 31 at 4 p.m., up to 100 rooms will be available within Gzowski College, using only every second room to provide a private bathroom and support appropriate social distancing.
Details are currently being finalized between the two institutions. While using Gzowski College for temporary housing, the Hospital will look after cleaning and sanitation. After the emergency passes, the space will be fully-sanitized and turned back over to the University to allow for a 21 day vacancy before students arrive.
140 Trent students who remain on campus without alternative living arrangements, are currently residing at the Water Street residences on the west side of Water Street, across from the campus entrance and on the other side of the river from Gzowski College.
“All decisions will remain guided by our values of maintaining the health and safety of our campus community,” notes Julie Davis, vice-president, External Relations and Advancement. “The wellness of our students, faculty and staff, remain paramount as we support our broader community throughout these times.”
Trent’s ongoing efforts to support the local community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have included a donation of personal protective equipment and clothing to PRHC, as well as a large donation of perishable and non-perishable food to Kawartha Food Share, which both took place last week.