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

Just Posted

MLA says no COVID-19 cases here in seven weeks, clash between B.C. and Alberta exaggerated

Clovechok said cars were keyed, but he believes the incidents were isolated.

Métis communities make do with minimal financial aid from Trudeau; CBT offers support

Métis citizens in valley forged ahead thanks to support from local leadership and community groups

Badgers, bears and birds to benefit from bolstering bunchgrass conservation in Rocky Mountain Trench

260 hectares (637 acres) near Canal Flats acquired for conservation

Furor erupts over CastleRock mountain bike trails

A petition has garnered 1,700 signatures so far and seeks to have the CastleRock trails legitimized.

Pedestrian-only main street?

A car-free, pedestrian-only main street in downtown Invermere could be a possibility this summer.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read