BURNABY, B.C. -- People living at five B.C. care facilities have a new way to visit with family, while keeping safe from the spread of COVID-19.

PARC Retirement Living set up "family meetup centres" at locations around the Lower Mainland.

The storage containers have been outfitted with a partition that allows residents to enter from one side, and their families to enter from the other. They can then speak to each other through a Plexiglas window.

The centres are outfitted with hand sanitizer, HEPA filters and air conditioning.

Residents or their families can book the space for 45-minute blocks of time. Afterwards, a complete cleaning takes place before the next visitors can enter.

Storage container turned into meeting place

"Knowing that we're not going to have a solution or vaccine for COVID-19 anytime soon," PARC Mulberry general manager Michael Traquair says, the plan is to keep the centres around for the foreseeable future.

"We know how important it is for our seniors and their families to connect and come together.

“Into the winter months, when its not so nice out, where they aren't able to social distance and meet outside in a safe way, this will give them an option.”

There are 150 residents at Mulberry PARC and currently the meeting centre is operating three days per week.

Each of the units costs between $15,000 and $20,000. If demand for space increase Traquair says they will evaluate the program, and expand it if need be.

Shipping container turned into meeting place