Vancouver Sun



“Folks are really isolated, really abandoned,” says Jen Ko of South Riverdale Community Health Centre in Toronto, because some of the nine overdose prevention and supervised consumptio­n sites have seen their hours cut, at least one because of COVID-19 among staff. Suspended drop-in and meal programs also hurt, Ko says, while “a lot of the things people come for are the human services, the conversati­on and support, but being in PPE (means) nobody can tell who is who.” While B.C. is trying to bolster addiction care through a phone line of doctors, nurses and pharmacist­s, the needy are often street-entrenched and without access to devices. In Vancouver, visits to supervised injection sites have dropped by half, likely because of worry of exposure to COVID-19. The alternativ­e is to use drugs alone, which is dangerous.

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