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Respiratory diseases | British Columbia reopens emergency health centers

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(Vancouver) The government of British Columbia will reopen 20 hospital emergency operations centers set up during the COVID-19 pandemic to deal with an expected increase in cases of influenza, respiratory illnesses and coronavirus.

Health Minister Adrian Dix announces that the province is facing an unprecedented increase in demand on the health care system.

Reactivating the centers from Monday will ensure people have continued access to hospital care and enable a coordinated response during times of additional strain on hospitals, Dix said.

There are more than 10,000 patients in BC hospitals, which the minister says is a significant number, and the centers will help ensure there is space for those who need it in the coming weeks.

British Columbia traditionally sees a spike in hospitalizations in January as illnesses spread over the holiday season and surgeries resume in the new year.

The centers will be in place for at least six weeks and management teams will review hospital bed availability and identify solutions to reduce emergency department congestion, Dix said.



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