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Overnight closure of Alert Bay ER extended

Overnight closings will continue until end of month due to staff shortages

Island Health said Friday the overnight closure of the emergency department in Alert Bay is being extended to the end of the month due to staff shortages.

The Cormorant Island Community Health Centre emergency room will be closed between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The health authority had initially announced overnight closures until Aug. 16, but staff shortages are persisting.

Anyone experiencing a ­medical emergency while the emergency room is closed should call 911, the authority said. Island Health and B.C. Emergency Health Services have protocols in place to ensure patients are transported to an alternative site.

Island Health said it has been “extremely challenged” by nursing shortages.

It said the planned temporary overnight closure in Alert Bay enables the ER to be fully operational from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.