Telus is delivering over 10,000 free phones to help isolated seniors and vulnerable Canadians stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vancouver-based national carrier has already donated more than 6,000 phones paired with $0 rate plans, including unlimited nationwide talk and text and 3GB of data per month to Canadians who need them the most.
This initiative is valued at $5 million CAD, and aims to help hospitalized COVID-19 patients virtually connect with loved ones and also provide homeless and at-risk individuals with social support.
“No one should feel alone or disconnected, and it is a privilege for our team to be able to create a vital human connection for those members of our community who are most in need of our care and assistance,” said Telus CEO Darren Entwistle, in a press release.
The phones are being distributed to hospitals and other health organizations across the country. Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto is starting to roll out the devices to patients in the hospital.
“Once a patient is intubated, they cannot answer the phone, but will be able to see and hear loved ones on the device. This will provide solace for the family especially, and staff who are watching people die alone, unable to comfort them,” the hospital stated in a press release.
Canada’s national carriers have all been taking steps to aid the fight against COVID-19. For instance, Bell recently donated 1.5 million protective face masks to healthcare and frontline workers, and Rogers has announced community partnerships to donate smartphones to people in vulnerable situations.