Ontario hospitals advised to prepare surge plans within 48 hours

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TORONTO – Ontario Health CEO urges hospitals across the province to be ready to activate their surge capacity plans within 48 hours as spike in COVID-19 cases threatens health system’s ability to care for patients patients effectively.
In a memo to hospital CEOs on Tuesday, Ontario Health President Matt Anderson said the province has entered a “critical phase” of the pandemic, where community transmission is widespread.

“Our ability to care for patients (COVID and not COVID) is in question, so we are asking hospitals to work together, even more, to make sure we can continue to have the capacity to bed to care for patients, to safe and efficient manner, ”Anderson wrote in the memo.

“With this in mind, I ask that, if you haven’t already done so, hospitals immediately begin working with their regional / sub-regional COVID-19 response structures, or Incident Management Systems (IMS), to be ready and / or activate peak capacity planning within 48 hours to support efforts in your regions.

The memo calls for gray and red regions of the multi-level framework of the province – in fact most of the GTA – to ensure at least 10-15% of peak capacity of staffed adult inpatient beds. for COVID-19 within 48 hours.

In an email to CP24, a spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province was closely monitoring the situation in hospitals.

“The situation we are seeing in our hospitals is a reflection of the spread of COVID-19 in the community. More than ever, it is essential that all Ontarians continue to follow public health advice to help stop the spread of the virus. Everyone has a role to play in protecting each other and maintaining the capacity of the health system, ”the statement said.

“We continue to monitor developments closely and are committed to working with our partners to ensure hospitals across the province have the capacity to provide care to any Ontarians who need hospitalization.”

The note comes as the province reported 2,300 new cases on Tuesday, breaking its previous one-day high.

It is also happening as intensive care units (ICUs) across Ontario are seeing more patients than at any time in the pandemic so far.

While the arrival of new vaccines recently provided much needed light at the end of the tunnel, public health officials have warned that it will take several months to vaccinate enough people so that COVID-19 is no longer a threat. major for the population. Officials also warned that hospitals could be overwhelmed and many people could still die if regular infection prevention measures such as physical distancing, hand washing and abstaining from unnecessary gatherings are not. not followed.

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