New COVID-19 outbreaks at B.C. hospitals raise concerns about staffing

B.C. reported 534 patients in hospital, Thursday, due to COVID-19, a distressing new record. And even as the Omicron variant increases the number of cases across the province, those who care for the sick are having to book off work. Richard Zussman reports.

Concerns about staffing issues in the health-care system are mounting with a number of B.C. hospitals reporting COVID-19 outbreaks.

Seven hospitals in the Fraser Health region are experiencing outbreaks of the virus, including Abbotsford Regional Hospital, where eight patients have the virus.

Six patients in one unit at Langley Memorial Hospital have also been infected.

A total of 13 patients at Burnaby General Hospital have tested positive and an additional five patients have COVID-19 at Peace Arch Hospital.

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There are also outbreaks at Surrey Memorial Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital, Eagle Ridge Hospital, Laurel Place and Kelowna General Hospital.

The province said Wednesday a total of 49 facilities have ongoing outbreaks, including long-term care facilities, acute facilities and assisted and independent living facilities.

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Between Jan. 3 and 9, health authorities reported 27,937 shifts missed because of health-care worker illness, including COVID-19, symptoms appearing to be COVID-19 and other ailments.

At least 530 scheduled, non-urgent surgeries were postponed in B.C. last week to help ease the burden on hospitals and health-care workers.

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