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Victoria hospitals see emergency operations centres reactivated to battle surge

The EOCs will be active for at least six weeks in health authorities across B.C. starting Jan. 9
The Victoria General Hospital, pictured, and Royal Jubilee Hospital will benefit from the return of emergency operating centres the province has reactivated at Island Health and health authorities across B.C. as they deal with expected surges in hospitalization during respiratory illness season. (Black Press Media file photo)

Two Greater Victoria hospitals will see reactivated emergency operation centres at Island Health starting Monday (Jan. 9) as the province reactivates EOCs to ensure patients have access to hospital care as respiratory illness season continues.

The province announced the move in a news release Friday (Jan. 6) as another step being taken to help hospitals manage expected additional pressure through enhanced supports and a co-ordinated response.

The EOCs will be in place for at least six weeks and will feature dedicated teams reviewing hospital bed availability and identifying solutions to ease emergency department congestion.

“These actions increase patient flow so that the most vulnerable patients, including those who need critical care, get the care they need,” read the release. “As well, the EOCs enable the leadership teams to support patients who are ready to be discharged from hospital, helping them to transition in a safe way.”

Over the next two weeks, health authorities will reduce overall hospital occupancy and ensure emergency departments have available patient care beds for acutely ill patients. The Ministry of Health will monitor progress, continue to work with health authorities, and adapt plans and efforts as required to ensure actions support patients and providers.

According to the province, British Columbians can support the health-care system by getting vaccinated against influenza and COVID-19, staying home when they are sick and by following public-health guidance.

People with life-threatening symptoms should go to their hospital emergency department. Those with non-emergency health concerns can visit their care provider or a walk-in clinic. People who need urgent, same-day care can contact an urgent and primary care centre. If unsure, call 811 for advice or visit

READ MORE: Island Health board chair reflects on challenges and accomplishments of the past year

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