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55 ICU patients transferred out of northern B.C. as situation remains ‘extremely serious’: Dix

Click to play video: '55 ICU patients have now been transferred out of Northern Health as COVID crisis worsens' 55 ICU patients have now been transferred out of Northern Health as COVID crisis worsens
B.C.'s Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday 55 ICU patients from the Northern Health region have now been transferred to other hospitals in the province as capacity in Northern Health hospitals reach critical levels. Of those 55 people, 43 have tested positive for COVID-19 and 42 are not fully vaccinated – Oct 12, 2021

B.C.’s health minister says 55 patients in intensive care units in the Northern Health region have been transferred to other health regions in the province.

Of those patients, 43 have tested positive for COVID-19, and 42 are not fully vaccinated, Adrian Dix said at a Tuesday press briefing.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations and ICU admissions all growing in the north' COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations and ICU admissions all growing in the north
COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations and ICU admissions all growing in the north – Oct 12, 2021

Fourteen patients were flown from northern B.C. to other health authorities over the Thanksgiving long weekend.

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Calling the situation in B.C.’s north “extremely serious,” Dix said the patients have been sent by air to hospitals in Island Health, Fraser Health, and Vancouver Coastal Health to ease the strain on the health-care system in Northern Health.

Dix said every effort is being made to treat already those in critical care, adding that vaccination is the key to easing pressure on the province’s health-care system.

Click to play video: 'Vanderhoof doctor pleads for community to get vaccinated' Vanderhoof doctor pleads for community to get vaccinated
Vanderhoof doctor pleads for community to get vaccinated – Oct 9, 2021

“For those people walking around unvaccinated who might be in those critical care beds in two or three weeks, I say to them, now is the time, surely, to get vaccinated,” he said.

Read more: ‘Get vaccinated’: Northern B.C. doctor warns local ER could close amid rampant COVID

Dix said vaccination rates in the province are impressive — 88.8 per cent of eligible British Columbians aged 12 and older have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 82.6 per cent have received two doses — but need to be higher.

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“We need to come together now and raise vaccination levels,” he said.

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