The increase in COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island in recent weeks is having impacts on hospitals and critical care units, according to Island Health. (Black Press Media File Photo)

The increase in COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island in recent weeks is having impacts on hospitals and critical care units, according to Island Health. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Victoria General Hospital sets up COVID-19 inpatient unit in response to soaring case counts

Unit will serve patients who need to be hospitalized, but don’t require critical care

The significant increase in COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island in recent weeks is having impacts on hospitals and critical care units, according to Island Health.

The health authority established an inpatient unit for people with COVID-19 at Victoria General Hospital last week to respond to increasing hospitalizations. The unit will serve patients who require hospitalization due to COVID-19, but don’t require critical care.

Island Health told Black Press Media on Tuesday that critical care beds were averaging at 73 per cent capacity last week. It didn’t specify how full Greater Victoria critical care units were, but said “the occupancy at any one hospital can vary up and down significantly based on demand each day – including operating at full capacity.”

To support any additional needs beyond its base capacity, Island Health has implemented surge critical care beds in case they’re required.

“Our health-care teams need every eligible resident of Island Health to get vaccinated today if they haven’t already, and follow public health guidance, in order to protect our health-care system and our teams,” the health authority said.

The province announced Tuesday that the health ministry is assigning 15 intensive care beds in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to accept transfers of severely ill people from Northern Health.

There are 332 people in hospital with coronavirus-related conditions in B.C. as of Sept. 21, up from 307 on Monday, including 155 in intensive care, which is down one from the previous day. B.C. reported 525 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 61 of those coming in the Island Health region.

READ: B.C. transferring COVID-19 patients out of northern hospitals


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Greater VictoriaRoyal Jubilee HospitalVictoriaVictoria General HospitalWest Shore