Lions Gate Hospital will only accept emergency patients, as the province upgrades its response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
The province has declared a public health emergency as 83 new cases were reported today. Three more people have died from COVID-19, and two of these deaths were connected to the Lynn Valley Care Centre.
Lions Gate Hospital is moving to Outbreak Response Phase 3, which means the hospital will only accept emergency patients.
Lions Gate Hospital is also preparing to open a dedicated COVID-19 unit to provide care to those with the virus.
“Today, we are taking a number of additional steps to address the changing situation in B.C. and ensure our health-care system is best positioned to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s provincial health officer, in a joint statement yesterday.
All other hospitals in the province will move to Outbreak Response Phase 2.
This means hospitals will undertake only urgent and emergency procedures and will postpone all non-urgent scheduled surgeries.
Hospitals will also review operating-room capacity daily to prioritize urgent and emergency cases.
BC said it is also working with the College of Pharmacists to advise pharmacies to provide patients with a prescription refill or an emergency supply of their medications if needed.
This will give physicians more time to care for patients with acute care needs.
British Columbians are asked to respect this temporary arrangement and are reminded that there is no need to stockpile medication.
To further enhance health services, BC will provide physicians compensation for providing virtual-care services.
BC is also moving to restrict visitors in long-term care to essential visits only.
Essential visits include compassionate visits for end-of-life care and visits that support care plans for residents based on resident and family needs. For example, families who routinely visit to provide assistance with feeding or mobility.