Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has first admitted patient with COVID-19

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has its first patient admitted for COVID-19.

Hospital working on plan to have all COVID-19 patients on one unit when numbers increase

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre currently has one patient admitted who has tested positive for COVID-19. (Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre)

The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has its first patient admitted for COVID-19.

The patient is in a negative pressure room in the hospital, said Dr. Stewart Kennedy, the hospital's incident manager for COVID-19.

Kennedy said the hospital is constantly revising its plan on how to deal with a potential influx of COVID-19 patients. Currently, all presumptive cases as well as confirmed cases will be admitted to negative pressure isolation rooms throughout the facility.

"As the numbers increase we are looking at what we call a hot cold zone, or hot zone that will be dedicated to one ward initially, and it will go to two wards." 

Kennedy said all of the current presumptive cases at the Health Sciences Centre are in isolation rooms, however, there are 22 negative pressure rooms available, so the hospital is converting other rooms to perform the same function.

That includes converting positive pressure rooms, operating rooms, one room in pediatrics, several rooms in general medicine wards as well as in the emergency department.

"We haven't decided what the trigger is yet," Kennedy said, referring to how many cases the hospital would have to have admitted to when it has a COVID-19 dedicated ward.

"But, as you can appreciate, the plan changes depending on the numbers coming  through the door."

"As you can well appreciate, we don't have a hundred negative pressure rooms, so we still prefer for best care of our patients to actually do the care for them in a negative pressure room. If the numbers increase, which we are making more (rooms), then we will put everybody onto one floor."

Kennedy said starting Friday, anybody who presents to the emergency department will also notice a different treatment.

"As of most likely tomorrow, we're going to make the whole emergency department a hot zone," he said, meaning anybody who comes in would be treated as if they had COVID-19.


Jeff Walters


Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.