KGH is one of 17 hospitals in B.C. treating COVID-19 patients

KGH one of 17 COVID sites

Kelowna General Hospital is one of the 17 primary COVID sites in B.C. where virus patients are being treated, along with Penticton Regional Hospital, Vernon Jubilee Hospital and Kamloops' Royal Inland Hospital.

On Friday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said B.C. will initially keep COVID-19 patients contained to 17 of the largest hospitals in the province, before using smaller regional facilities if required.

Across the Interior Health region, there are 1,007 hospital beds, with a total of 74 Intensive Care Unit and High Acuity Unit beds. If additional critical care beds are needed for COVID-19 patients, another 84 beds can be made available by utilizing beds in cardiac surgery ICU, coronary care units and post- anaesthesia rooms.

Hundreds of hospital beds have been freed up around the province over the past week, as hospitals cancel elective surgeries. Additional beds will be made available in the coming days as hospitals move those who don't require acute care to other facilities. All of these measures are in preparation for a worst case scenario, where transmission rates spike at the level seen in Northern Italy. 

Dr. Henry said she is “cautiously optimistic” that physical distancing measures and travel restrictions have started to slow the growth of COVID-19 cases in B.C., but stressed that B.C. is far from safe from this crisis.

“If we do this right, it is what is going to save us,” Dr. Henry said. "It's going to save our healthcare system, it's going to save our communities by taking those physical distance measures that we've put in place.

“We've looked at other places where they've eased off on the measures and we've started to see increases again. So right now, we are right in the middle of our pandemic ... This is our critical time, the next two weeks in particular.”

The modelling released by the government Friday shows a predicted peak of COVID-19 hospitalizations on April 4, but Dr. Henry said that's just an estimate, based on other countries experiences.

“We don't know when we're at our peak until we're looking back at it,” she said. “Our peak may be, hopefully, long and flat so that we're not getting those spikes and dramatic decreases ... we don't know that, we can't predict that right now.

Other primary COVID sites in the Interior Health region include the Cranbrooks' East Kootenay Regional Hospital and Trail's Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

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