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

What June 1 will look like at Surrey schools

High school students following a ‘tutorial model’ where they sign up through a set schedule of times

South Surrey church to host drive-thru food-donation station

Items dropped off to Mount Olive Lutheran Church to benefit Surrey Urban Mission program

Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension faces potential delays due to COVID-19

Pandemic ‘adversely’ impacting TransLink’s finances; ‘much work’ required to approve next investment plan

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

MAY 29: Feds to mull border-closure exceptions for families split between Canada and U.S.

SIMPSON: For real leadership amid crisis, look west of Scott Road

Delta council, under direction of Mayor George Harvie, defines leadership during pandemic

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Grand Forks braces for river flooding amid warm weather and rain

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Suspected ‘murder hornet’ leaves Langley man on edge after finding insect in bedroom

The extra-large invasive insect had been first discovered in Brookswood on Thursday, May 28

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

Reward for info on trapped raccoon rises to $6,000

Activists have donated to try to find whoever laid a trap in Delta

Most Read