Set Up of VCH Alternate Care Site Complete

April 9th, 2020 – As part of Vancouver Coastal Health’s (VCH) ongoing planning and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the alternate care site located at the Vancouver Convention Centre has been set-up and can be operationalized as needed.

The 271-bed site, known as the Vancouver Convention Health Centre, increases provincial hospital bed capacity for lower acuity, non-COVID-19 patients, in the event of a surge in COVID-19 cases. The site will only be used if necessary.

“I want to thank all the people who worked so hard to make this a reality,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “This is a critical step to ensure that B.C. is prepared for the worst as we work for the best outcome.”

The site has four nursing stations, patient and staff showers and washrooms, oxygen and medical supplies. Bed spaces have been set-up in a pod format with approximately 25 patients to a dedicated health care team. A VCH medical director and operations lead would be at the site to oversee transfers, provide medical oversight and support an interdisciplinary team of health care providers including, doctors, nurses, care aides and other clinical and non-clinical care providers.

The site also houses B.C.’s Mobile Medical Unit for patients who might have a higher care need on-site prior to being transferred to a regional hospital. The site is not intended for walk-ins as patients will be transferred directly from a referring hospital if it is needed.

While VCH continues to be cautiously optimistic that the COVID-19 curve can be flattened, precautionary steps continue to be taken.

VCH is grateful for the support of its partners and would like thank its staff, physicians and key partners including:

  • B.C. Ministry of Health and Health Authorities

  • The Canadian Red Cross

  • Health Emergency Management B.C.

  • Provincial Health Services Authority’s Mobile Medical Unit

  • St. John’s Ambulance

  • BC PavCo and the Vancouver Convention Centre


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