Collingwood council voted unanimously in favour of kicking in up to $100,000 from the COVID-19 contingency fund to help Collingwood General and Marine Hospital prepare for an off-site location that could be used if a surge of patients exceeds the hospital's capacity.
Mayor Brian Saunderson confirmed during the meeting the hospital and town were looking at the Collingwood Legion for the site of this field hospital.
Fire Chief Ross Parr, the town's emergency management coordinator, said the location is "perfect" as a secondary emergency centre for the town as well. The town already has an emergency centre identified in its emergency plan. The location is not identified in the public plan.
CAO Fareed Amin said the building could fulfil two objectives: as a triage centre for patients of the hospital, and/or for other COVID-19 related issues, not necessarily illnesses (for example as an emergency centre for the town).
"This has been an attempt for us to work with the local hospital to advance their preparedness," said Amin, adding it would be good for the town to have more than one emergency centre option. "It's good to have some redundancy in our emergency planning process."
Amin and Parr confirmed there is planning taking place to use the Legion as the field hospital/emergency centre but no physical work has taken place yet.
The hospital is asking for the financial help toward the cost of installing a generator at the Legion.
The COVID-19 contingency fund refers to the $2.5 million set aside by council from the proceeds of the sale of the Collingwood Regional Airport and COLLUS.
Councillor Steve Berman declared a conflict under the town's code of conduct and didn't vote on the matter.