It took over 13-hours for Interior Health to transfer several in-patients and long-term care residents from Merritt to the Cariboo.

Executive Director of Clinical Operations for the Thompson and Cariboo Regions, Lisa Zetes-Zanatta said on Monday (November 15th) two in-patients were taken to 100 Mile District General Hospital and 14 long-term care residents to Fischer Place.

In Williams Lake, 27 long-term care residents were transferred to Cariboo Place, 4 to Deni House, and 3 in-patients to Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

Zetes-Zanata said there’s no timetable as to how long they will be staying in the Cariboo and that Interior Health is continuing to be in contact with their Health Emergency Management team.

Photo-Lisa Zetes-Zanata

“I understand right now they’re working on their waster water as well as their water provisions, until those base municipal systems are up and running we’ll continue to support our residents in the locations where they are right now for their safety.”

We asked Zetes-Zanata how much and planning goes into getting people from one community to another.

“We have a list of people designated in advance for emergency planning. We’ve had to exercise it unfortunately quite a bit this year with our wildfires and now our floods.” Zetes-Zanata said, “So we picked up the list from where we left off and arranged the transport necessary, and had both the residents and as well as the staff transported within 14-hours we evacuated the entire team of our facility based clients.”

Zetes-Zanata added that Interior Health appreciates the hard work done by everyone who took part in safely transporting these residents to 100 Mile House and Williams Lake.