VICTORIA -- A brand new a long term care facility in Victoria that was built to house seniors with dementia may be commandeered by the province for its ongoing COVID-19 response.

The Summit at Quadra Village was ready to welcome residents into the 320-unit facility by the end of next month. But on Monday, B.C. health officials announced plans to potentially use the centre to free up space in local hospitals.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday that acute care beds at the province's hospitals are typically full this time of year, operating at 103.5 per cent capacity.

Dix said more than 1,200 acute care beds have already been made available in hospitals across the province due to "surge activation" on March 20, but more may be required.

"If required, Island Health will use the Summit to further reduce occupancy levels at our hospitals," Island Health said in a statement Monday.

"For example, patients who are awaiting transfer to other levels of care or requiring rehabilitation supports, which would create further space in our existing hospitals for the acute medical and critical care needs of COVID-19 patients."

Residents from the Oak Bay Lodge and Mount Tolmie Hospital were due to move into the Summit centre at 955 Hillside Ave. by the end of April.