Northern Health transfers COVID-19 patients from Terrace hospital to Prince Rupert

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Northern Health has confirmed they have transferred COVID-19 patients from the Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace to the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital. 

Northern Health spokesperson Eryn Collins said that two patients were transferred to Prince Rupert on January 7th to create additional capacity at Mills Memorial. She explained that transferring patients throughout the province is a part of Northern Health's plan to manage a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

"As I don't think anyone will be surprised to hear, the North has been seeing a surge in COVID activity and the need for hospitalizations for people requiring care . All of our hospitals are part of our plan not only for Northern Health but provincially to ensure we provide care for people who not only need care for COVID-19 related purposes but all of the other critical care and other care needs our hospitals are regularly attending to.

"So this week we have made some transfers out of Mills Memorial Hospital. This is not unusual and this has been part of our plan and we have been clear in the past about the potential for this to need to be activated to manage the surge that we're unfortunately seeing."

Last month, Northern Health confirmed that they had sent some COVID-19 patients from Mills Memorial Hospital to Victoria to receive care. 

Collins said that the transfer of patients to Prince Rupert only poses a low transmission risk due to the extensive health precautions in place at the hospital. However, she added that people should continue to be as cautious as before about the virus.

"The general public and those who needs to access health services shouldn't be concerned that this will be a new risk in the community. This is a part of our health care system that has been activated to support our capacity challenges and the pressures that we're seeing right now, and it's just really important that regardless of where people are or where they know that there are confirmed cases in their community, everybody needs to be following the same advice and be taking the same precautions."

Collins said that more transfers could occur throughout the Northern Health region, including to Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, depending on patient needs and hospital capacity.