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

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Nearly 2000 BC Hydro customers in East Sooke lost power around 1 p.m. on Jan. 20. (BC Hydro)
UPDATE: Power restored to nearly 2000 East Sooke residents after blasting

Blasting caused power pole to move and faulted the circuit Wednesday

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

The Victoria Fire Department extinguished a 15 foot tent fire in the 500-block of Ellice Street Jan. 19. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police investigating after 15-foot flames engulf tent

Flames damage nearby business in 500-block of Ellice Street

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk in Nanaimo

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Most Read