Lambton College’s east and west gymnasiums have been transformed into a 150-bed field hospital as Bluewater Health ramps up its COVID-19 preparedness.
The initiative was announced Tuesday, in a joint release from the hospital and college, noting the move to secure additional bed capacity is part of a provincial call to action for ‘next level’ pandemic preparedness.
“We are preparing for a possible patient influx and creating capacity to care for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton,” said Mike Lapaine, president & CEO, Bluewater Health. “Our hope is we do not need to move any patients to the Lambton College site, but we have to be ready for the worst case.”
Officials say the facility — chosen for its onsite bathroom capacity, food and cleaning services — has been set up with beds and cots, with assistance from City of Sarnia’s Emergency Management Operations Group (EMOC), and would include stainless steel rooms/dividers to provide privacy for examinations and procedures and ease of disinfection.
The pandemic back-up plan approach is consistent with all hospitals across the province and the current plan would move non-COVID-19 patients, offsite to the field hospital.
The hospital says it’s currently running at 55% capacity, with about 40 beds in use for COVID patients.
The hospital has capacity of over 300 beds, and can over-bed with an additional 84 beds, the release states.
“On behalf of Bluewater Health, I would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to both Lambton College and the City of Sarnia as we weather this storm of storms together,” Lapaine said.