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Health Edmundston hospital under pressure as full lockdown begins

20:06  24 january  2021
20:06  24 january  2021 Source:   cbc.ca

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The Edmundston and Grand Falls region will see businesses shut down and schools close as it enters a strict lockdown at midnight on Saturday. Edmundston , along with the entire Zone 4 health region, is set to enter a full lockdown for at least two weeks.

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a sign on the side of a snow covered street: There are only 11 beds in the intensive care unit at the Edmundston Regional Hospital. © Bernard LeBel/Radio-Canada There are only 11 beds in the intensive care unit at the Edmundston Regional Hospital.

Health-care workers in northwest New Brunswick are concerned about hospital capacity after more patients were admitted to intensive care on Saturday.

There are five people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the province, all in intensive care.

The Edmundston Regional Hospital only has 11 beds for intensive care. With case numbers in Zone 4 surging, there's worries those beds could fill up.

The health region began a full lockdown on Saturday and has 135 active cases of COVID-19.

Dr. Laurie Malenfant said there are COVID-positive patients at the hospital.

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"We have some who are even fighting for their lives," she told Radio-Canada.

"It makes the environment a little stressful because we know they won't be the last patients to come with what is happening in the community."


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The province announced 17 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, including 10 in the Edmundston and Grand Falls region.

The region is also grappling with cases inside long-term care homes.

a sign on the side of a snow covered street: The Edmundston Regional Hospital has admitted some patients with COVID-19. © Bernard LeBel/Radio-Canada The Edmundston Regional Hospital has admitted some patients with COVID-19.

Manoir Belle Vue, a special care home in Edmundston, has confirmed 20 positive cases.

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Public Health has also declared outbreaks at Le Pavillon Le Royer, another long-term care home in Edmundston, and Foyer Ste-Elizabeth in nearby Baker Brook.

Malenfant said while health-care workers have the situation under control, things could change rapidly.

The beds in the Edmundston hospital's intensive care unit are not solely for those with COVID-19.

"Other illnesses continue to enter, we need to be able to provide good service to everyone, not just to people who will have contracted the virus," Malenfant said.

There are fears that health-care workers could become infected, leading to a reduction in staffing capacity.

"Employees who are certified to work with people in critical care situations, we have a limited number," said Malenfant.

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