A sign outside the entrance to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital urges handwashing. (Thom Barker photo)

Rumours of Smithers hospital closure unfounded: MD

No designation as “COVID hospital,” but some non-COVID patients being diverted to other hospitals

Rumours that Bulkley Valley District Hospital has been designated a “COVID hospital” and that non-COVID services have been suspended appear to be unfounded.

Dr. Laura Eustace, a local general practitioner, said while the hospital is currently being overrun by COVID-19 cases there is no official designation or closure per se.

She did confirm, however, that maternity services were diverted to Terrace over the weekend due to capacity issues.

The Smithers Local Health Area recorded 117 new cases of COVID-19 during the last BC Centre for Disease Control (CDC) reporting period of Sept. 3 – 11.

In a letter earlier this week, local doctors urged people to get vaccinated and observe public health guidelines.

“As a medical staff, we want to send a strong message to the community that getting vaccinated now and following public health guidelines is essential to slow this outbreak,” they wrote. “All of the undersigned physicians and allied health care providers believe without hesitation that vaccination is safe and effective, and we encourage each and every one of you to get vaccinated without delay.”

READ MORE: Bulkley Valley medical staff urges vaccination and to follow guidelines


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