Mills Memorial has increased their bed count of 50 in preparation for an increased demand for services because of the COVID-19 outbreak. (Shutterstock Photo)

Terrace health services prepare for increased demand as more COVID-19 cases predicted

Elective, non-urgent surgeries cancelled

Mills Memorial Hospital has been thinning out its occupancy rate in preparation for an increased demand for services because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The move follows last week’s decision by the provincial health ministry to cancel all elective and non-urgent surgeries across the province.

As of March 20, provincial health minister Adrian Dix reported that approximately 2,400 acute care beds and approximately 200 critical care beds had been freed up, a number that is expected to fluctuate provincially, regionally and locally depending upon demand and circumstances.

Mills Memorial has a bed count of 50, up from 44 beds approximately 18 months ago by adding one bed so there are four in its intensive care ward and adding five beds on its medical/surgical ward for a total of 30 beds.

It also added the equivalent of 4.5 full-time registered nurses to handle the increased bed count.

The additional intensive care ward bed was added in the 2018-2019 fiscal year and the five additional medical/surgical beds were added in the current fiscal year which ends the end of March.

The 10-bed regional psychiatric unit and six beds in maternity/gynecology make for 50 beds at Mills.

Within the Northern Health Authority area, there are 571 acute care beds.

But health authorities in the past have stressed that capacity will be adjusted to meet demand, a standard feature of planning that goes into the event of unforeseen circumstances.

READ MORE: Terrace mayor promotes possible affordable housing tie-in to new Memorial Mills hospital

At Mills, for instance, the TV lounge area opposite the nursing station on the second floor medical/surgical ward has been pressed into service on occasion and beds in the day surgery recovery room are also available as needed.

As of last week, the number of ventilators within the Northern Health Authority area stood at 116 but how they are allocated within specific health care facilities isn’t known.

The subject of ventilators used to assist critically-ill patients with breathing has been a consistent subject of questions put to health care officials.

Across B.C., as of late last week, provincial health minister Adrian Dix said there were 956 of various types, including ones used when transporting people.

More ventilators are on order, Dix continued, and numbers will be announced as they arrive.

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

Just Posted

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

City of Terrace calling on Province to take stricter social distancing measures

The City sent the Province a letter earlier this month with a number of recommendations

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Grant could help ease road rebuild cost

Would help pay for sidewalk, bike lane

Terrace Library, Misty River Books adapt amid COVID-19 to keep readers reading

Library also unrolling online programs to keep kids occupied

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

‘Community is amazing’: Williams Lake woman organizes drive-by birthdays

With self-isolation the norm due to COVID-19 children are missing out

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read