VIDEO: B.C. health officials create makeshift hospital in case of COVID-19 surge

Vancouver Convention Centre could help increase bed capacity for lower acuity, non-COVID-19 patients

Inside the Vancouver Convention Centre, 271 beds with nursing stations, showers and a supply of oxygen tanks have been set up as part of the province’s ongoing pandemic plan to prepare for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases.

While B.C. has seen promising stats in the number of patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus, which has no cure or vaccine, health officials have remained cautiously optimistic that current physical distancing protocols will flatten the COVID-19 curve.

Still, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the alternate care site serves as a precautionary step.

ALSO READ: Alberta to send protective equipment, ventilators to B.C., Quebec, Ontario

“This is a critical step to ensure that B.C. is prepared for the worst as we work for the best outcome,” he said in a statement while thanking the number of organizations that helped put the site toegther in recent weeks such as the Canadian Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance.

The beds add to the roughly 4,400 empty hospital beds available in the province, according to B.C. government data released on April 10.

Within the Vancouver Coastal Health region, which has seen the most confirmed cases thus far, there are four hospitals: Lions Gate Hospital, Richmond Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital.

If needed, the Vancouver Convention Centre would help increase bed capacity for lower acuity, non-COVID-19 patients.

Inside the make-shift hospital, beds have been set-up in a pod format with approximately 25 patients to a dedicated health care team. There are four nursing stations, patient and staff showers and washrooms, oxygen and medical supplies.

If the site were to be needed, a Vancouver Coastal Health medical director and operations lead would be at the site to oversee transfers, provide medical oversight and support an interdisciplinary team of health care providers including, doctors, nurses, care aides and other clinical and non-clinical care providers.

B.C. health officials have decided not to use modelling to predict possible COVID-19 death tolls like how other provinces, as well as the federal government, has done.

Instead, B.C. has focused modelling on whether the province has enough hospital beds and other resources if a widespread outbreak were to occur. According to officials, social distancing measures are helping decrease the rate of transmission, but warn that hospitals could still become overwhelmed if there were to be a surge in cases.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. peaked to 149 on April 2, but have since remained steady and have begun to slightly decline. There have been roughly 1,500 confirmed cases in B.C. and 58 fatalities as of April 11.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fundraiser launched for Enderby drive-in

Vernon resident seeks to raise $20K to save Starlight Drive-In

Duck nests at Vernon drive-thru

Mother has hatched four ducklings just inches from the steady stream of vehicles

North and Central Okanagan on flood watch

Kalamalka Lake users are asked to take measure to reduce the risk… Continue reading

VIDEO: Flowers stolen from Vernon distillery

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery captured surveillance footage of the thief in a black car

Vernon Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Houseboat company partly owned by Shuswap MLA withdraws controversial ad

The ad welcomed houseboaters from other provinces, contradicting anti COVID-19 measures.

Squabble between campers in North Shuswap leads to bear spraying

An argument over late night partying escalated into a fight which led to one person being sprayed

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

Unique ‘the Wedge’ development makes way back to Kelowna council

Council initially deferred its decision on the project in March

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Most Read