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B.C. delays some non-urgent surgeries as COVID hospitalizations hit new record

Last Updated Apr 22, 2021 at 6:43 pm PDT

Summary

Strain on healthcare system means at least 1,750 non-urgent surgeries need to be postponed

More than 500 patients in hospital with COVID-19, including 161 in intensive care

B.C. records 1.006 new COVID cases, four deaths

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As COVID-19 hospitalizations reach record highs in B.C., the province is postponing non-urgent surgeries across the Lower Mainland to cope with the strain on the healthcare system.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says only urgent and emergent surgeries can happen at hospitals across the Lower Mainland for at least two weeks.

“This is to ensure that they have the critical care staff available to care for patients,” Dix said, saying the change will take effect next week.

In the Fraser Health region, the move will affect about 750 non-urgent surgeries at Abbotsford Regional, Burnaby General, Surrey Memorial, and Royal Columbian hospitals will be postponed.

In the Vancouver Coastal Health region, the move affects about 1,000 non-urgent surgeries at Lions Gate, Richmond, St Paul’s, UBC, and Vancouver General hospitals.

“For those patients that have already been called – or will be called to postpone their surgery – and for patients who had surgery we aren’t able to book at this time, I make the same assurance we’ve made to patients last March: You will not be forgotten,” Dix promised.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in B.C. continues to rise, with 502 patients – 161 of whom are in intensive care.

B.C. recorded 1,006 cases of COVID-19 and four deaths in the past day.

“The number of hospitalizations and people in ICU continues to be alarming and to rise. The pressure on our healthcare system is immense right now, and our health care workers need our help,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said, urging people to follow public health orders, gather only with their own household and a select few others, and stay close to home.

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More than 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 88,475 of which are second doses.

British Columbians aged 25 and older can register for the age-based vaccine program. Indigenous people aged 18 and older are eligible for a vaccine now.

People aged 40 and older can book now with local pharmacies to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.