ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, February 11, 2022 – After a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases which prompted Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC) to suspend some outpatient clinics and lab services (with exceptions), the hospital is now preparing to resume those services.

Beginning Monday, February 14, SLBMC will once again provide those services to the community at large. Elective surgeries will resume later that week, on Wednesday, February 16.

The hospital will resume these suspended services while monitoring COVID-19 activity, supplies, staffing and overall capacity. Patients with previous appointments are currently being contacted by members of the care team to reschedule those appointments.

“In this unique time, it’s important for the community to have continued access to needed care, but also for patients to know that we’re focused on their safety and the safety of our staff,” said Albert Duncan MD, SLBMC Medical Director. “We appreciate the community’s support and adaptability to the changes we’ve made.

For those patients who may be anxious about rescheduling appointments—You’ve waited long enough, and we want to remind you of the importance of being seen, especially those patients with chronic conditions.”

“We have to face the new reality of the pandemic, in which we have to care for COVID-19 patients while also providing the healthcare services our community needs and deserves,” the Medical Director said.

“We’re going to do everything possible to support our team members in those areas with the assistance they need, and we’re going to continue advocating for our communities to get vaccinated, wear masks and follow prevention measures to keep everyone safe.”

While vaccination does not always prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death.