Sir Lester Bird Medical Center restricts elective and non-essential services as Covid cases rise

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ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, January 8, 2022 – In an effort to keep our patients, staff and communities safe, Sir Lester Bird Medical Center (SLBMC) is taking action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the increase in Covid-19 cases, we regret to inform the community that we are suspending EVERYTHING elective and non-essential services in the hospital. This should include elective surgeries and outpatient clinics, routine laboratory services, and elective radiology services.

This change will take effect from Monday, January 10, 2022 until further notice.

Patients affected by this restriction will be contacted by our healthcare team. We recognize the inconvenience these changes may cause, but we appreciate the public’s understanding as we manage the effects of Covid-19 on our communities. SLBMC Medical Director Dr Albert Duncan said: “The safety of our patients and visitors remains a priority. We continue to make decisions in the best interests of those entrusted to our care and those who love them.”

SLBMC wants the public to note that access to essential treatments such as cancer care, (high-risk) prenatal care and kidney dialysis will continue. Our emergency department remains open 24 hours a day and the hospital will also continue to accept URGENT referrals from physicians.

If a community member suspects they may have been exposed to COVID-19, they are encouraged to call the COVID Hotline: 46-COVID (462-6843) OR 562-9764 for further instructions. People are asked not to come to the hospital unless your symptoms are severe or if a healthcare professional has advised you to do so.

SLBMC will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and adapt as necessary to provide a safe environment for our patients, staff and community.

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Michelle J. Kelley