B.C. nurses ask residents to follow public health orders as hospitalization climb

Nurses' impassioned plea

As hospitalizations across the province rise due to COVID-19, nurses in B.C. are urging residents to follow public health orders.

The government stated Monday COVID-19 hospitalization and admissions to intensive-care units in the province have reached an all-time high.

Hospitals in Kelowna, Kamloops, Penticton and Trail are operating at over 95 per cent base bed capacity while other hospitals in Abbotsford, Surrey, Richmond and Vancouver are being strained in their critical care departments for the same reason.

BC Nurses' Union president Christine Sorensen says those numbers continue to be of "great concern," adding nurses are at a "breaking point as they work through this third wave."

As of Monday, 441 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, with 138 requiring intensive care.

“I’ve heard from nurses throughout the weekend who are very worried about how much more strain this province’s health care system can manage,” says Sorensen.

“They are worried for their patients and are managing unacceptable and unsafe workloads.”

Modelling last week, she says, showed B.C. could hit a staggering 3,000 new cases a day if trends don't go down.

Sorensen is asking the province to implement enhanced measures to reduce the spread of the virus, and the growing pressure it is putting on the health care system.

She is anxious to see what the government will unveil in Tuesday's budget to address the "dire need for a health human resource plan, and strategies in managing the province's nurse shortage."

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