SAULT STE. MARIE -- Sault residents seeking self-isolate away from those in their crowded households will soon be able to do so more easily.

On Thursday, the federal government announced eight hotel rooms in the Sault and Algoma district will be used as safe voluntary isolation sites, and will be funded with the help of a $336,000 investment.

"While we're not seeing the same numbers in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma as we are in some of the other parts of Ontario, that can change quickly," said Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano. "So we have to do everything that we can to make sure that people are safe and that the people who need our help, have our help."

Sault Ste. Marie joins Thunder Bay as the only two Northern communities to benefit from the funding so far, which has amassed about 2,150 rooms in communities across the province.

"Right now, Ontario communities certainly can apply to the public health agency of Canada, as well, it will be rolling out to the rest of Canada," said Sault MP Terry Sheehan. "As part of this effort, we are addressing the underlying issues faced by vulnerable people that are at higher risk of transmission during the pandemic."

In an email, Public Health Sudbury & Districts confirmed it was working with the City of Greater Sudbury and its partners to apply for the same funding.