Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Royal Jubilee and Nanaimo Regional General hospitals will be Vancouver Island’s front line hospitals in the battle against COVID-19, with other hospitals being used in a support role.

“Island Health’s pandemic plan is to cohort COVID-19 patients requiring a higher level of care to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital as primary COVID hospitals, with local sites used to support,” reads a prepared statement from Island Health.

“There are also plans in place to move additional patients currently in hospital to alternative sites, if required, based on the level of need in our acute care system. These plans include using the recently completed Summit long-term care facility in Victoria, if needed, for patients currently in hospital.”

Island hospitals have been preparing for a surge in COVID-19 cases in much the same fashion as hospitals across the province — opening as many beds as possible, and having contingency plans in place for the most serious cases.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said today (April 6) B.C.’s hospital occupancy rate is at 58 per cent for regular beds and 53 per cent for critical care beds. As of April 5, Island Health reported the average occupancy at hospitals throughout the Island is “around 70 per cent.”

As of today, there have been 79 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the Island Health region. As of 9 a.m., 11 of those cases were hospitalized, including three in critical care. The Island’s first two deaths were reported Thursday.

RELATED: Vancouver Island seniors die in hospital due to COVID-19

There are 178 ventilators available on Vancouver Island, including 86 critical care ventilators, 22 transport ventilators, and 70 anesthetic machines.

“It’s important to remember that ventilators and patients can be moved to where they need to be,” Island Health said in its statement, adding that both the provincial ministry and Island Health are actively working to acquire additional ventilators.

While Island Health does not confirm specific locations of confirmed cases, as is consistent with the direction and approach of the Provincial Health Officer, local hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients.

Sources have told Black Press Media that the North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus has elevated its protocol to “Stage 2,” meaning there are hospitalized COVID-19 patients at that location.

Dr. Adam Thompson, the COVID-19 physician lead for the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice, said his group has every confidence in the preparation that has been ongoing.

“The level of planning at the hospital to prepare for COVID-19 has been professional, expert and comprehensive,” he said. “We are very grateful to all the physicians, ER doctors, specialists and family doctors who have spent many hours working alongside our nursing, allied health and administrative staff to deliver a hospital ready to cope with the changes now and ahead.”

RELATED: Recovery rate tops 60% but B.C. records death of man in his 40s due to COVID-19

Thompson added the best plan of preparation should be done by individuals, not institutions.

“Regardless of planning at the hospital, it is our community that is the frontline force against this disease,” he said. “It is through our actions of physical distancing, staying at home, and appropriate hygiene such as hand washing, that we’ll beat this virus.”

Comox ValleyCoronavirus

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

 

The North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus is prepared for a COVID-19 wave. Photo by Erin Haluschak

The North Island Hospital Comox Valley campus is prepared for a COVID-19 wave. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Just Posted

(File photo)
RCMP act quickly in response to report of gun-toting man in Parksville

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

(Google maps photo)
COVID-19: Case confirmed at École Oceanside Elementary School in Parksville

Dates of exposure were Thursday, Feb. 25 and Friday, Feb. 26

Donna Hales next to one of her paintings of Sooke. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Donna Hales still displaying her work at age 94

Current exhibit at the McMillan Arts Centre through April 1

Thrifty Foods at 280 Island Highway East in Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Thrifty Foods store in Parksville briefly closes after small fire

Minimal damage and no injuries reported; store expected to re-open after 5 p.m.

(Philip Wolf photo)
WOLF: What’s in a name (2.0)? Parksville offers interesting list of dog monikers

List includes Rembrandt, Swayze, Zorro, Fabio, Fonzie and Yoda

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read