COVID-19 outbreak recorded at Lower Mainland hospital with limited capacity
VANCOUVER -- A Metro Vancouver hospital already reaching its limit for COVID-19 care is managing a new outbreak of the disease.
Fraser Health announced Tuesday that Surrey Memorial Hospital has a new COVID-19 outbreak in one of its medicine units. This comes after five patients recently tested positive, the health authority says.
That unit is now closed to admissions but the emergency department remains open. No other units have been impacted, Fraser Health says.
"Upon declaring the outbreak, Fraser Health immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning as well as contact tracing to protect the health of all staff, medical staff and patients," a news release from the health authority says, adding that all patients in the unit have been notified.
The outbreak comes as the hospital is helping a significant number of COVID-19 patients. As of Tuesday, the Fraser Health region had 229 COVID-19 patients, with 67 of them in ICU. Of those, about half were at the Surrey hospital.
On Monday, B.C.'s health ministry presented data on hospitalizations showing Surrey Memorial Hospital, as well as Abbotsford Regional and Vancouver General hospitals, have less than five per cent capacity in medical and ICU units. In some hospitals, less critical or non-COVID patients are being transferred to other care facilities as needed.
Despite these challenges, the president of the Doctors of BC is urging anyone who needs medical in the province help to seek it out.
"It’s important for the public to understand we still have capacity to deal with emergencies and with people’s medical needs," Dr. Matthew Chow told CTV News Vancouver.
"We do not want people to be deferring important medical needs, if they’re having symptoms, if they’re having an emergency for sure make use of the health-care system."
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Penny Daflos