VANCOUVER -- A 271-bed medical facility is now set up at the Vancouver Convention Centre and is ready to be operational if needed, local health authorities say.

The process took about a week and the site would be used for non-COVID-19 patients, should cases of the novel coronavirus dramatically increase in the province. 

The site has four nursing stations, showers for patients and staff, oxygen and medical supplies. The beds are set up in pods and each would have about 25 patients with a dedicated health-care team. 

"I want to thank all the people who worked so hard to make this a reality," said Health Minister Adrian Dix in a news release. "This is a critical step to ensure that B.C. is prepared for the worst as we work for the best outcome."

If the site is used, Vancouver Coastal Health said a medical director and operations lead would be on hand to give oversite and support a team of doctors, nurses, care aides and other health-care providers. 

A mobile medical unit will also be on-site for anyone that may have higher-care needs before being transferred to another hospital. The site isn't intended for walk-ins, however. 

Last week, VCH said the facility could be opened to serve as few as a dozen patients, and is scalable depending on demand, adding that essential visitor restrictions currently in place at hospitals around the province will apply at the convention centre as well, if it's opened.

As of Thursday, 132 people were in hospital with COVID-19 in B.C., with 68 in critical care. A total of 1,370 positive cases have been confirmed in the province.