Staff shortage forces Interior emergency department to temporarily close

Jan 17 2022, 5:37 pm

A lack of healthcare staff amid BC’s Omicron wave of COVID-19 infections forced an emergency room in BC’s Interior to temporarily close.

Interior Health posted an update Sunday saying the emergency department in Ashcroft would be closed overnight Sunday starting at 6 pm. Normally, the emergency department is open 24 hours a day on weekends.

Normal overnight hours will resume on Friday, January 21, the health authority said.

Interior Health advised patients seeking emergency care to go to Royal Inland Hospital or Nicola Valley Hospital, both of which are more than an hour’s drive away.

The closure comes as Omicron infections sweep across the province, and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry warns businesses to prepare plans on what to do if up to one-third of the workforce is out sick.

Healthcare isn’t the only sector affected by staffing issues lately — several BC schools have posted functional closures because too many staff were out sick to properly open the school.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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