Interior Health announced Friday (Feb. 18) it will resume normal operating activities following a temporary pause on some services last month due to the Omicron variant.
The health authority shut down certain services in Barriere, Clearwater, Ashcroft, and Lillooet, among others, last month in order to keep providing essential services during the peak of the Omicron wave.
Now that the wave is beginning to subside, IH said it will resume normal operating activity, although Ashcroft Community Health Centre and the Slocan Community Health Centre in New Denver will continue with reduced services due to staff shortages.
“We are working with impacted communities this week and assigning staff back to their regular roles throughout the region following a phased approach that brings services back in a safe and planned way,” IH president and CEO Susan Brown said in a press release.
During the adjustments, inpatient services were closed in Clearwater, Invermere and Lillooet. Overnight hours were reduced at community health centres in both Ashcroft and New Denver, while the Barriere and District Health Centre emergency department was closed. The measures were made to redeploy staff to nearby emergency departments.
Non-urgent surgeries across IH were also rescheduled.
The health authority is implementing a phased return to service which includes:
– Two new registered nurses in Lillooet to reopen inpatient services March 14
– One new registered nurse in Clearwater to reopen inpatient services Feb. 23
– Nurse-provided primary care services will return to the Barriere and District Health Centre on Feb. 23
– Outpatient lab services will return to the health clinic in Barriere five days per week
– Scheduling of non-urgent surgical procedures will continue on Feb. 23
– Full services in IH will return over a two-week period
– Select outpatient, adult day programs and non-urgent home health services will also resume