Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the BVIHSA, Pat Malone-Smith said the field hospital which was set up yesterday can house up to 26 patients and is expected to help streamline how health officials deal with new cases that come in for testing at the Dr D. Orlando Hospital.
Malone-Smith said patients not as sick or those that may need to be triaged (determine the level of urgent care needed) before they come to the hospital, will be seen at the off-site location at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.
The Acting CEO said the current surge capacity at hospital only caters for a total of 23 patients.
She said the hospital’s Special Care Unit can house up to 17 patients – inclusive of one pregnant patient – with up to six persons in its Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The CEO endorsed the efficacy of vaccination even as she noted the number of patients currently under the hospital’s urgent care system. Two of those patients are in the ICU and a further 10 have been admitted to the Special Care Unit.
She said 11 of the 12 patients were unvaccinated while the one patient who was vaccinated, had some symptoms, but was treated and sent home.
Meanwhile, Malone-Smith explained that a tent set up at the hospital for travellers, quarantine patients and other persons scheduled to receive tests will be re-located to the Althea Scatliffe Primary School.
Malone-Smith said the tent will be re-purposed for triaging and persons will then be seen there first before being moved to the hospital for admission if necessary.
Persons who are not seriously ill will go to the field hospital to be reviewed before being sent home wherever necessary.
Additionally, health officials are also looking at introducing drive-through testing facilities at the festival village site in Road Town in efforts to ease the congestion at the hospital.
This measure is expected to further reduce the prospect of persons coming in contact with each other when going to get tested for the virus.
The CEO also stated that the BVIHSA are hosting discussions with private health facilities about how they can offer assistance to help the territory get through the surge.
Hospital staff, she said, have reportedly been doing between 700-1,500 tests since June 30 and are doing their best to get results out as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Carvin Malone warned that the BVI is likely to see a 24-hour lockdown to limit movement and further reduce the spread of the virus if the territory continues with current trends.
Malone said persons are advised to stay at home where possible for the next 14 days, adding that no loitering or gathering will be encouraged. He said the decision will be reviewed regularly.