Prince Rupert Regional Hospital has received it’s first COVID-19 transfer of patients from Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace on Jan. 7. (Nothern View file photo)

Prince Rupert Regional Hospital has received it’s first COVID-19 transfer of patients from Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace on Jan. 7. (Nothern View file photo)

Terrace hospital now sending COVID-19 patients to Prince Rupert

Northern Health said COVID-19 transfers are all part of the plan

COVID-19 patients are now being transferred to Prince Rupert Regional Hospital from Mills Memorial Hospital, with the first two arriving on Jan. 7. The Terrace hospital and staff are overwhelmed by the case numbers and have a lack of available beds in the allocated regional pandemic treatment facility.

The pandemic curve is trending upwards and it is distressing news, Eryn Collins communications manager for Northern Health told The Northern View.

“As that curve goes up, so to do the pressures on, not just our acute care resources, but on our public health resources,” Collins said. “So we really need to turn it back in the direction that we’d rather see it going.”

Mills Memorial Hospital is one of three COVID-19 emergency response centers in the Northern Health region and has been under pressure on acute care since December, Collins said. They are treating patients not just from the west, but from municipalities from the east of Terrace, such as Smithers, and also from the south.

Residents of Prince Rupert should not be alarmed by the transfers to the city’s hospital, as it is all part of the COVID-19 response plan, Collins said.

Mills Memorial has five intensive care unit beds, six infectious disease unit beds, five ventilators, and two transport ventilators. With increases of COVID-19 cases through-out the region the beds are now full, however, it must be kept in mind that the ICU beds are also required for critical medical conditions other than COVID-19, Collins said.

While Prince Rupert is not a designated COVID-19 hospital, it does have a dedicated area where patients affected by the virus can be placed in a cohort and treated.

“Prince Rupert Regional Hospital does have the capability to ventilate for a limited period of time,” Collins said.

“So part of our COVID planning was making it very clear to people that all of our sites, including Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, had identified areas where if need be, they would be able to care for and manage COVID positive patients relative to the hospital’s level of care.”

Hospitals in Terrace, Prince George, and Fort St. John were identified as the primary COVID-19 treatment sites because they have a higher level of care available than other hospitals in the north.

“If the patient required a higher level of care, then the system activates, to transfer those patients to (a facility) based on their care needs, but also based on what capacity exists.”

“Each of our hospitals has that ability and that capacity. They’re all part of this provincial plan that’s been in place since very early on in the pandemic.”

“We have confirmed previously that we’ve transferred patients not only between our own Northern Health hospitals because they do have varying levels of care but also to other health regions of BC. That potential has existed and still exists because of where we are with our current COVID cases and hospitalizations,” Collins said.

In a December statement, Nothern Health said across all of the hospitals in the region there are 41 critical care ‘base’ beds, and an additional 23 ‘surge’ critical care beds (surge capacity can be scaled up or down, depending on need).

“There approximately 100 ventilators available to support critical care, including transport ventilators (this number is approximate as additional ventilators continue to arrive and are put into service). All NH sites have transport ventilators; there is also a provincial supply of ventilators that can be deployed to areas of need.”

K-J Millar | Journalist 
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

The Nisga’a Valley Health Authority reported an isolated cluster of COVID-19 cases among non-direct care staff at the New Aiyansh Health Centre. (Gary Fiegehen/Nisga’a Lisims Government)
New Aiyansh Health Centre experiencing COVID-19 cluster among non-direct care staff

Nisga’a Valley Health Authority asking residents to cancel appointments outside the Nass Valley

A photo of the CervixCheck at-home test kit, developed by Eve Medical. (Submitted Photo/Katina Pollard, Métis Nation British Columbia)
Pilot project puts cancer screening into the hands of northwest B.C. women

Métis women experience barriers to cervical cancer screening

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Most Read